August 29, 2008 / 12:47 AM / 11 years ago

Square Enix aims to buy majority stake in Tecmo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese video game maker Square Enix Co (9684.T) said on Friday it seeks to buy more than half of game developer Tecmo 9650.T to improve its global competitiveness, in a deal worth at least $102 million.

The move is the latest in a series of capital alliances in the global game industry, including the creation last month of Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O) through the merger of U.S.-based Activision and French telecommunications and media group Vivendi’s (VIV.PA) game unit.

Square Enix has proposed to bid for Tecmo shares at 920 yen apiece, a 30 percent premium to their closing price the previous day. The stock was untraded as of 0141 GMT with a glut of buy orders at 806 yen, up 14 percent.

Shares in Square Enix, known for blockbuster roll-playing game series such as “Dragon Quest” and “Final Fantasy”, gained 3.1 percent to 3,630 yen.

The announcement follows a Reuters interview with Square Enix President Yoichi Wada in May, in which he said the company was considering taking stakes in game developers to combat rising competition from established game publishers and other entertainment companies. <ID:nSP17449>

“Games are globally recognized as a genre of entertainment, and the industry is attracting much attention for its market size and growth potential,” Square Enix said in a statement.

“But on the other hand, the Japanese game industry is facing a turning point as to whether or not we can stay at the core of the global market.”

Square Enix said it plans to maintain the Tecmo brand after buying the company, but added it would not pursue the bid if Tecmo management either does not respond to the proposal by September 4 or rejects it.

Square Enix said it would brief on the proposal at 1:00 p.m. (0400 GMT) and declined to comment further or give details until then.

Reporting by Sachi Izumi, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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