TOKYO -- Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. said on Thursday it was unable to purchase 27 million of its own shares as planned before the market opened, having been beaten to the trade by an unknown party.
The maker of Subaru cars had said a day earlier that it planned to buy the shares, worth 3.4 percent of its outstanding stock, through the Tokyo Stock Exchange's ToSTNet online trading system on Thursday morning to absorb its shares to be sold by General Motors.
"There were apparently many buy orders, and another party beat us to the clock," a Fuji Heavy spokesman said, noting that orders on the online trading system are processed on a first-come first-serve basis.
GM on Wednesday dissolved its 6-year-old alliance with Fuji Heavy, selling an 8.7 percent stake in it to Toyota Motor Corp.
GM had said it would divest the remaining 89 million shares by offering them in Fuji Heavy's open-market buyback program of 90 million shares announced on Wednesday.
Fuji Heavy still plans to buy back 36 million shares before the market opens on Friday through the same method, at Thursday's closing price, and another 27 million next Tuesday at Friday's closing price. If purchased successfully, that would amount to 8.0 percent of its issued common shares.
The Tokyo bourse is closed next Monday for a national holiday.
A Fuji Heavy spokesman said the company would not try to buy back any more shares than it had announced a day earlier.