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Nippon Toy Titans Converge as Bandai Buys Namco

Japanese toy giant Bandais got game, acquiring Nippon videogame giant Namco for $1.7 billion in cash and stock, in a huge development for the gaming industry.

Bandai owns the POWER RANGERS and DIGIMON, while Namco owns the classic PAC-MAN and new hit games such as TEKKEN. The financial and trade wires are buzzing about how this combination will create Japans second-biggest maker of toys and videogames.

Bandai bought 6.3% of Namco for $100 million in cash, with Namco shareholders to receive one share each per Namco share in a new combined company. The new company, to be named Namco Bandai Holdings, will have more money to develop videogames to compete is the escalating vidgame market, and gives the gaming side of the merger a library of characters to adapt into games.

Bandai is also partnered with American media companies such as The WB, Disney and Cartoon Network, to make toys based upon its properties.

The deal is scheduled to close Sept. 29, 2005, pending approval of shareholders at Bandais June 23 meeting and Namcos June 25 meeting. The two companies plan to delist from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Sept. 22. Bandai president Takeo Takasu and Namco vice chairman Kyushiro Takagi will be in charge of Namco Bandai Holdings.

Namco America Inc. ( is the U.S. subsidiary of Namco Ltd., a Tokyo-based world leader in the high-tech entertainment industry. Based in San Jose, California, Namco America Inc. delivers the next generation in wireless and coin-op arcade games.

Bandai Co. Ltd is the third largest toy company in the world, comprising 53 subsidiaries in 18 countries. In addition to toys and children's entertainment, Bandai Co.'s global interests include videogame software, multimedia, music and full-length feature films, vending machines, trading cards, candies and licensed apparel. Bandai Ent. ( is headquartered in Cypress, California.