Japan’s Shinsei Bank is reportedly set to oppose a takeover bid by SBI Holdings, forcing the latter into what is being described as a ‘a rare hostile takeover bid in Japan’s banking sector’.

Independent external directors of the bank have advised against the proposed acquisition this week, according to reports.

SBI, which already owns 20% of the Japanese lender, is looking to raise its holding to 48% through a tender offer launched last month.

Shinsei is concerned that its shareholders, who are against the proposed bid, may sell their stakes in order to avoid becoming minority investors in the bank if the acquisition is realised.

The bank, which is preparing defensive measures against the SBI takeover, has scheduled a board meeting next week to decide on the proposed SBI bid.

It has also set a shareholders’ meeting next month to secure support for its defensive measures against the proposed SBI deal.

Meanwhile, responding to a recent media report, Shinsei said that its board of directors and external directors are reviewing the bid.

The bank said in a statement: “There are no facts in their statement that ‘Shinsei Bank is close to reaching a decision on its opinion to oppose to the TOB by SBI Holdings’ as described in the report. Shinsei Bank will announce its decisions on the TOB related matters that should be disclosed in a timely manner.”

In a separate development last month, Bloomberg reported that Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is planning to sell its US banking unit MUFG Union Bank.