Merrill Lynch ups stake in TMS


U.S. brokerage group Merrill Lynch has become the second-largest shareholder in TMS Entertainment Ltd., a Nagoya-based producer of animation cartoons, according to a report made available Tuesday by the government.

The biggest shareholder in TMS is Sega Corp.

In a report to the Finance Ministry, the Merrill Lynch group said it has acquired a 7.54 percent stake in TMS by purchasing some 3.33 million shares.

Merrill Lynch said it purchased the stake purely for investment purposes and has no intention of acquiring control of the firm’s management.

TMS Vice President Haruhiko Kaneko said the company has drawn attention from foreign investors, with strong overseas sales of products such as “Lupin the Third” having increased its name recognition.