PCCW to take 81% stake in Jaleco

Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd., a Hong Kong-based multimedia company, will pay 27 billion yen to acquire an 81 percent stake in Jaleco Ltd., a Japanese video game software maker, senior officials of the firms announced Thursday.

Under the deal, PCCW will acquire the share by early November through a takeover bid then through third-party allotments in two stages, the officials said.

Based on the deal, Jaleco will change its name to Pacific Century CyberWorks Japan Ltd.

J. Todd Bonner, who is currently an executive director at PCCW, will become chief executive officer.

The acquisition of Jaleco will enable PCCW to strengthen its business in Japan, which is important to the Pacific Century group due to its large market, Bonner said.

“This acquisition of Jaleco will accelerate broadband business in Japan . . . Japan is an incredibly important market,” Bonner said. “Its (Jaleco’s) expertise in gaming is a good starting point.”

On the other hand, the deal will enable Jaleco to strengthen its financial base and finance the costly production of video game software, said Yoshifumi Mori, senior managing director of Jaleco.

The Pacific Century group was founded by Richard Li, a Hong Kong entrepreneur who created the Star TV channel and later sold the business to News Corp.

PCCW, which merged with Hong Kong Telecom in February, provides broadband Internet content, services and technology.

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