Sumitomo challenges KDDI’s bid for cable TV firm Jupiter Telecom

City A.M. Reporter
SUMITOMO said yesterday it will launch a 122.1bn yen (£0.8m) tender offer to raise its stake in cable TV company Jupiter Telecom to 40 per cent, countering a rival bid by telecoms firm KDDI.

Sumitomo , Japan’s third-largest trading company, now holds about a 27 per cent stake in Jupiter, known as J:Com, and would become the top shareholder. By taking more than a third of the company, it would also gain the right to veto critical decisions.

The move could be an attempt to oppose a similar bid by KDDI to become the company’s top shareholder, one analyst said.

KDDI, Japan’s second-largest mobile telecoms firm, said in January it would pay $4bn for the nearly 38 per cent stake held by international cable TV group Liberty Global, currently J:Com’s top shareholder.

“For KDDI, this is another problem. As Sumitomo is aiming to become the largest shareholder of J:Com, this does not seem to follow the usual Japanese way in which different stakeholders try to get along well together. This offer is hostile to KDDI” said Atsuo Takahashi, a telecoms analyst at Mizuho Securities.

KDDI last week scaled back the bid due to regulatory pressure, saying it would pay the same for a 31 per cent stake.