Date
17 October 2017
Fanuc's capital spending plan is seen as a rejection of Third Point's suggestion that the company repurchase shares. Photo: Wall Street Journal
Fanuc's capital spending plan is seen as a rejection of Third Point's suggestion that the company repurchase shares. Photo: Wall Street Journal

Japanese industrial robot maker ramps up production

Japanese industrial-robot maker Fanuc Corp. said it will invest more than US$1 billion in new factories and research facilities at home.

The plan came after New York-based hedge fund Third Point LLC, run by Daniel Loeb, urged the company to return more cash to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Last week, Third Point revealed it has an unspecified stake in Fanuc and criticized the company’s “illogical capital structure which does nothing for shareholder value”.

It called on the company to use some of its US$8.5 billion cash hoard to repurchase shares.

Fanuc declined to comment on the hedge fund’s suggestion, but observers said its capital spending plan effectively rebuffs the proposal.

“Third Point may see this as the company taking a somewhat confrontational stance because there appears to be no intention of buying back shares,” Shun Maruyama, chief Japan equity strategist at BNP Paribas Securities (Japan), was quoted as saying.

Fanuc will spend about 100 billion yen on a factory aimed at “fortification” of its production capabilities and about 30 billion yen on laboratories aimed at enhancing the reliability and speed of its equipment, the report said.

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