Nintendo will buy back 2.2 million shares

Nintendo action done to fend off any hostile takeover; Square Enix bid for Taito seen as spurring the move.

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TOKYO--Nintendo today said it would acquire 2.2 million shares of its own stock. The figure represents 1.55 percent of the 130.08 million shares currently outstanding. The company will purchase the shares next week and will pay 11,650 yen ($106) a share, the same as today's closing price.

The purchase is expected to cost the company a total of 25.63 billion yen ($233.5 million), assuming the company can acquire all 2.2 million shares.

Nintendo has been cautious about corporate takeovers for about the past year, analysts say. Today's move is seen as another step toward heading off any uninvited takeover bids. The Nintendo announcement comes only four days after Square Enix announced a friendly $600 million takeover bid for Taito.

Nintendo currently owns 11.59 million shares (8.9 percent) of its publicly issued stock.

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