Nintendo founder’s YFO set to raise Toyo bid -source

By Makiko Yamazaki

TOKYO (Reuters) -The family office linked to Nintendo’s founder plans to raise its buyout bid for Japan’s Toyo Construction, a source told Reuters, after it successfully reshuffled the board that had resisted its offer.

Yamauchi-No.10 Family Office (YFO), Toyo’s largest investor with a 28.51% stake, is now planning to offer 1,255 yen ($8.44) per share, up from its initial offer last year of 1,000 yen, the source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The source declined to be identified as the matter is not public.

YFO’s initial 1,000 yen offer was higher than a 770 yen per share offer from an industry rival which Toyo had endorsed at the time, when its shares were trading at around 600 yen.

It took about nine months for Toyo to form a special committee to assess YFO’s offer, which YFO said acted against shareholders’ interest.

At an annual meeting in June, Toyo shareholders approved seven of nine directors backed by YFO, allowing these directors to form a majority of the board.

It had been possible for YFO to hold talks with Toyo since the board reshuffle, the source said.

YFO’s revised offer would be made on condition that its due diligence confirmed Toyo’s business strategy was feasible and that there were no major negative risks, the source added.

YFO had already notified Toyo of its proposal and believes it could start a tender offer by late December, the source said.

Toyo could not be reached for comment outside office hours.

Expectations for a sweetened offer from YFO have in recent weeks boosted Toyo shares, which closed at 1,241 yen on Monday.

($1 = 148.7100 yen)

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Alexander Smith)