Nintendo founder’s family office joins race to take over software firm Japan Systems

REUTERS/Issei Kato

The family office of the Nintendo Co. founder is backing plans by senior executives at Japan Systems Co. to take the software company private, countering a takeover offer from a Hong Kong-based investment firm, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Yamauchi No. 10 Family Office, which manages more than 100 billion yen ($972 million) in assets, plans to spend billions of yen to support the management buyout, which could be valued at as much as 15 billion yen if bank loans are included, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter is private.

Japan Systems’s management team, led by President Tomohiro Kawada, is trying to fend off a tender offer from private equity firm The Longreach Group Ltd. In December, U.S.-based DXC Technology Co., which owns the majority of Japan Systems stocks, signed an agreement to sell all of its shares to the Hong Kong-based company.

Executives at Japan Systems are considering paying 615 yen for each Japan Systems share, according to filings. The Longreach Group offer, which is valid until Feb. 15, was for 590 yen per share. The stock closed unchanged at 588 yen in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Nintendo assets

Kawada plans to set up a special purpose vehicle for the buyout and the Yamauchi No. 10 Family Office may invest about 3.5 billion yen in the SPV, the people said. Kawada may use bank loans to finance the buyout, they said.

Kawada declined to comment on the plans. Hirowaka Murakami, co-chief investment officer at the Yamauchi family office, wasn’t able to comment.

The Yamauchi No. 10 Family Office manages assets previously owned by former Nintendo Chief Executive Officer Hiroshi Yamauchi who died in 2013, the people said. Yamauchi was Nintendo’s second-largest shareholder and held about 10% of the stock before his death, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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