Hajime Satomi, chairman and president of Sega Sammy Holdings Co., said Thursday the firm will actively seek mergers and acquisitions to become one of the world’s top five companies in the video game publishing industry.

“We are targeting game publishers with strong intellectual properties in the U.S. and Europe,” Satomi said.

Sega Sammy, born of the merger between game maker Sega Corp. and slot-machine maker Sammy Corp., is scheduled to start operating Oct. 1.

Sega and Sammy announced the merger in May after initial negotiations collapsed a year earlier, when rival game maker Namco Ltd. proposed a merger with Sega, whose popular titles include “Sonic the Hedgehog.”

In a midterm business plan announced Thursday, Satomi said the company will boost its video game operations by increasing the number of programmers involved in developing games.

The company currently has about 600 video game programmers at home and overseas, and plans to bring the figure to 1,000 in the near future.

It has forecast a net profit of 68 billion yen and a pretax profit of 122 billion yen on sales of 625 billion yen for fiscal 2006.

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