Less than 24 hours after it made headlines for selling over 1 million copies of Ninja Gaiden II, Tecmo is making news again. This morning, role-playing game giant Square Enix (Final Fantasy XIII) announced it was making an unsolicited but nonhostile bid for the Dead or Alive 4 publisher.
In a statement, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada presented the offer as an attempt to rescue Tecmo. In the span of two months, the publisher has been rocked by a declining stock price, class-action lawsuits, and the departure of and legal action by star designer Tomonobu Itagaki. Just last week, Tecmo president Yoshimi Yasuda abruptly stepped down, citing personal reasons.
"Tecmo is a group of excellent creators with a proven track record in the global market, which is a precious human resource of Japan," explained Wada. "We, however, cannot be optimistic about the future of this significant resource, given the current circumstances surrounding Tecmo. We believe that Tecmo will be able to make a great leap forward by joining Square Enix Group, which will provide the group with further growth opportunities as well."
Though Tecmo has not yet publicly commented on Square Enix's offer, it is likely tempting to many shareholders. The ¥920 ($8.46) per share offer is a 30 percent premium on Tecmo's ¥706 ($6.49) closing price on Thursday. The Bloomberg news service values the entire bid at 22.3 billion yen ($205 million). As a result of the offer, Tecmo stock shot up 14 percent to close ¥806 ($7.41) per share today, with Square Enix's stock rising 2.6 percent to ¥3,610 ($33.20).
While generous, Square-Enix's self-described "friendly takeover bid" (TOB) is very time-sensitive, expiring on September 4--next Thursday. Wada's statement ended with "If [Square Enix] should, by the deadline, receive no response from Tecmo, or fail to obtain consent by the board of directors of Tecmo to the TOB, the company will withdraw the proposal, and will NOT acquire the Tecmo shares through the TOB as planned in the proposal." (Emphasis in the original.)