Banpresto Co. said Thursday it plans to purchase the Asakusa Hanayashiki amusement park in downtown Tokyo from roller-coaster maker Togo Japan Inc.

The park, located in the Asakusa district, dates back to 1853, when it was opened as a flower garden.

Banpresto said the planned purchase follows its acquisition of the preferential negotiation right to become a sponsor for the rehabilitation of Togo Japan.

Banpresto has been considering offering financial support to Togo Japan since the Tokyo District Court approved the start of corporate rehabilitation proceedings for Togo Japan under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law on Jan. 19.

Banpresto, which is majority-owned by Bandai Co., said it will sign a contract to become a sponsor for Togo Japan in mid-April and submit a court-mandated restructuring program by the middle of June for approval in late July.

The company, which makes giveaways for prize game equipment at game arcades, plans to purchase the amusement park for about 2 billion yen through a subsidiary in late August, after the court approves the rehabilitation program, company officials said.

Togo Japan once enjoyed the largest share of Japan’s roller-coaster market, producing the Splash Mountain ride at Tokyo Disneyland.

But its business deteriorated as the burst of Japan’s bubble economy led to the closure of a number of amusement parks throughout the country.

In 2003, Togo Japan chalked up 1.7 billion yen in sales, about one-eighth of its peak figure.


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