Sumitomo challenges KDDI for JCom

Japanese trading giant Sumitomo has made a 122.18 billion yen ($1.36 billion) bid for control of Jupiter Telecommunication (JCom), putting it in rivalry with KDDI to become the cable TV firm’s leading shareholder.
Sumitomo said it planned to buy up to 875,834 shares for 139,500 yen each via tender by April 14.
The offer price is a 55% premium to JCom’s closing price on January 15.
If successful, Sumitomo could emerge with a 40% stake in JCom, up from its existing 27.4% share.
Sumitomo’s media business boss, Yoshio Osawa, told Bloomberg that the tender is a way for the firm to protect its management rights in JCom, given the huge potential cable TV has in Japan.
JCom’s president Tomoyuki Moriizumi and three of the company’s directors are former Sumitomo employees.
Three weeks ago, KDDI, the country’s no.2 cellco, said it planned to buy a 38% stake in Jupiter from Liberty Media, Sumitomo’s silent venture partner in JCom.
KDDI revised the offer last Friday, saying intended to now buy a 31.1% direct stake in JCom from Liberty, and spin off a 6.7% stake to a trust bank, to avoid having to make a tender offer for all of JCom.
KDDI expects its proposed stake deal to close as planned on February 19.