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Square Enix grows as Taito acquisition nears completion

Japanese reports indicate that Square Enix has almost completed its acquisition of multifaceted gaming company Taito

Japanese reports indicate that Square Enix has almost completed its acquisition of multifaceted gaming company Taito.

So far, Square Enix has secured a 93.7 percent share of Taito, buying up 346,689 shares. On September 28th, Taito will become a subsidiary of Square Enix, itself already the result of a 2003 merger between Square Co. and Enix Corporation.

The company has vowed to retain the Taito brand name, to preserve the history attached to the creator of Space Invaders - the game that started it all back in 1978. Today, Taito's revenue is largely made up outside videogame publishing, in areas such as arcade manufacturing, arcade ownership and karaoke manufacturing. The company still publishes franchise titles such as Puzzle Bobble and Rakugaki Kingdom in Japan.

The company revenue for Taito at the year end in March was 84.6 billion Yen (EURO 624.4 million) compared to 73.9 billion Yen (EURO 545.5 million) for Square Enix.

Combined sales for the last year would put the company in a strong position with 158.5 billion Yen (EURO 1.1 billion) but still behind Japanese market leaders Sega Sammy and Nintendo. Figures extend to non-game sources such as hardware manufacturing, arcade ownership and pachinko sales.

The completion of this merger comes after a recent Bloomberg report suggested the Japanese games market would see a number of major publishers entering merger and acquisition deals. Following the recent merger between Namco and Bandai, Capcom are tipped as a possible acquisition target for Sega Sammy. While Konami has indicated that it is already considering the possibility of a merger, Capcom has shrugged off any such suggestions and remains stubbornly independent at this stage.

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Paul Loughrey

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