Nintendo has officially announced the intent to acquire some of its treasury shares back from the heirs of the deceased former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, with the purchase happening tomorrow in Japan. They will earn up to 10 million additional shares, giving them up to an additional 7.81% control of the company.
There will be a lot read into this news; some fairly legitimate, others more headline-seeking.
First off, the concept that Yamauchi’s family selling their shares. While some may see this as a way of making a public statement about the shape Nintendo is in or the direction they are headed, one should note that inheritance taxes exist in Japan, and they are quite high for the wealthy. For a man of Yamauchi’s wealth, that would mean 50% of the value in assets going back to the state, which makes selling of their shares more understandable for the family.
With current Nintendo president Satoru Iwata recently stating the company would be open to an acquisition or a merger, the acquisition of more shares could mean more control in a possible partnering with another company. While such a situation wouldn’t fend off the likes of an overreach from the likes of a Samsung or an Apple (hypotheticals, people!), it could give them a bit more power in peaceful or aggressive takeovers for companies that make sense like Sega or surprises like Atlus (way less likely hypotheticals).
Nintendo is in a weird place right now. They’ve been losing value for the past few years and are trying new things to get back to the times when they were most prosperous. All I’m asking for is a properly-functioning online account system that doesn’t result in leaps and bounds to recover lost game downloads. That, and for Bayonetta II and the new Super Smash Bros to come out. It’d be a start!
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