Yasuo Takeuchi, the CEO of Japanese optics products maker Olympus, has said the involvement of activist investor ValueAct Capital was positive for the company and led to strong share price performance.

ValueAct invested in the company in May 2018 and since then the stock is up 132%, compared with Nikkei 225’s gain of around 20%. With ValueAct partner Robert Hale in the boardroom, Olympus was able to make bold moves like selling assets and focusing on medical devices.

“We have committed that we will become a leading global med-tech company; that requires a lot of change, eventually the change in culture and any types of diversified opinions and viewpoints are very much welcome,” Takeuchi said in an interview with Bloomberg. “I’m very glad that I have Robert Hale as a board member.”

Olympus is now considering a spinoff of the scientific solutions business, which could free up to $5 billion in cash for acquisitions. Takeuchi said he is looking “into inorganic growth opportunities.”

ValueAct disclosed a stake in May 2018 and in January 2019 it gained a seat on the board for Hale. At the time, Takeuchi said there was some concern about having a shareholder representative in the board, but noted it was “an effective measure to include an investor perspective.”

ValueAct joining the board of Olympus was a rare victory for an activist in Japan. Since then, activists have become increasingly successful in joining Japanese company boards via settlements and proxy fights.