Konami acquiring Hudson

Metal Gear publisher picks up Bomberman house in stock-exchange deal set for April 1; mobile, social networking experience cited as reason for buyout.

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By April, one of the gaming industry's oldest names will lose its independence. Konami announced this week that it has entered into a deal to acquire Bomberman creator Hudson as part of a stock swap. As per the terms of the deal, Hudson will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Konami effective April 1, subject to shareholder approval at a meeting on March 8.

Bomberman will soon have new corporate overlords.
Bomberman will soon have new corporate overlords.

According to terms of the deal, Konami will offer 0.188 shares of its own stock per one share of Hudson. The Metal Gear Solid publisher already owned a 53.99 percent stake in Hudson, with other primary investors including Osaka Securities Finance (2.4 percent), Barclays Capital Securities (1.42 percent), and Nintendo (1.04 percent).

Konami stated that its primary interest in bringing Hudson in house is the smaller company's performance in the social networking services sector, as well as mobile-game development.

"Above all in the Internet media industry, advanced function portable terminals 'smart phones' are becoming increasingly popular, and contents business opportunities for smart phones are expected to increase," Konami said as part of a filing. "Entering into new network services, including social network games, as considered with the booming [social network services] is expected to increase opportunities to recruit new users and the multifaceted development of our contents."

Konami noted that it expects the impact of the buyout on its own business operations and those of Hudson to be "minor." As such, no layoffs or staff reductions were announced as part of the buyout. According to filings, Hudson employed 496 employees as of March 31, 2010, while Konami's headcount stood at 5,708 staff during the same period.

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