TOKYO (Reuters) – Toshiba Corp nominated an executive from M&A advisory firm Houlihan Lokey as chairperson and activist shareholders as outside directors on Thursday, in a board overhaul that could intensify pressure to take the conglomerate private.
Toshiba nominated Akihiro Watanabe, the founder of M&A advisory firm GCA Corp, which was recently bought by Houlihan Lokey.
It also proposed Nabeel Bhanji, a portfolio manager at Elliott Management, and Eijiro Imai, managing director at Farallon Capital Management, are given board seats ahead of its annual shareholder meeting in June.
The nominations of the hedge fund shareholders mark a potential turning point in a long battle between the Japanese conglomerate and its activist shareholders.
Current board chair Satoshi Tsunakawa will step down to become executive advisor.
Board director nominations were delayed for about two weeks as Toshiba took extra time to ascertain whether there were any conflict-of-interest issues for some candidates.
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; editing by Jacqueline Wong and Jason neely)