Sammy reveals new logo, changes at Sega

Sammy unveils its new holding company's logo, discloses that major executive shuffle will take place inside Sega before the two firms' merger.

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TOKYO--On its official site today, Sammy unveiled the logo of its soon-to-be corporate parent, Sega Sammy Holdings. As reported earlier last month, Sega and Sammy will merge operations in October by becoming subsidiaries of Sega Sammy Holdings. Once the companies have merged, Sega and Sammy's combined annual income for the fiscal year 2005 is expected to be at 501 billion yen ($4.4 billion), making it one of the biggest game companies in Japan.

Sega Sammy Holdings will start off with a capital fund of 10 billion yen ($91 million) and 50 employees. Board members in Sega Sammy Holdings will consist of Sammy and Sega chairman Hajime Satomi as the president and chairman, Sega president Hisao Oguchi as vice chairman, and two Sammy directors as executive directors. Two directors from Sega and one more from Sammy will also be given positions as nonexecutive members of the board.

Major changes will also occur inside Sega's boardroom. Four of the company’s board members--everyone except Satomi, Oguchi, and Sammy executive Yoshiharu Suzuki--will step down in October. Other, as-yet-unidentified Sega executives will take over three of the seats, while vice chairman Hideki Sato’s seat will remain unfilled.

"Unfortunately, Sega has been in the red for nearly 10 years. It would tighten things up if the [board] members that had directing position and representative rights took responsibility [for Sega's downturn]," commented Satomi during Sammy's fiscal announcements last month. "Oguchi is still young, so he should be able to do more things with new board members."

Prior to becoming a subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings, Sega will be merging its seven subsidiaries--Sega Wow, Sega AM2, Hitmaker, Team Sonic, Smilebit, Amusement Vision, and Digitalrex--into a single entity.

"I feel that Sega has high individual capabilities, but it's too separated into different subsidiaries," commented Satomi on the remerger of Sega’s subsidiaries. "Sega wasn't able to create an overall corporate strategy or [a sense of] uniformity because of that, which is a major reason behind the company's stagnation. Oguchi himself has been feeling the same way. It's about time that we returned back to the old [structure of] Sega."

When the Sega-Sammy deal was announced last month, many media outlets painted it more as a takeover by Sammy than a merger. Under the terms of the deal, Sammy, which already owns nearly 25 percent of Sega, will exchange about 165 billion yen ($1.45 billion) of stock in the new company for Sega's remaining shares. Each share of Sammy will be swapped for one share of Sega Sammy Holdings, while each share of Sega will be swapped for 0.28 of a share. The deal will give current Sammy shareholders control of nearly three-quarters of the new company's voting stock.

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