TOKYO -- Japanese property developer Mitsui Fudosan will acquire Tokyo Dome -- the home stadium of the Yomiuri Giants pro baseball team -- with Japanese media company Yomiuri Shimbun Group, for 120 billion yen ($1.15 billion).
The two companies will operate Tokyo Dome and its surrounding facilities to develop new amusement facilities to be known as the "Ball Park." The two parties will leverage their expertise in attracting and redeveloping tenants.
Mitsui Fudosan's announcement on Friday confirms Nikkei's earlier report.
The real-estate developer will acquire Tokyo Dome shares through a takeover bid. The purchase period is from Nov. 30 this year to Jan. 18, 2021. The price is set at 1,300 yen per share, 24% above the closing price on Nov. 27. After that, Yomiuri Shimbun Group will take a 20% stake in Tokyo Dome. The baseball team is an affiliate of the group.
Mitsui Fudosan sees the amusement facilities as a new pillar of growth. The company has been working on developing complex facilities in recent years. But the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a blow to many amusement operators due to canceled events. It is possible that more companies will follow Mitsui Fudosan in supporting struggling developers.
Tokyo Dome posted a net loss of 9.8 billion yen for the February-July half, compared with a 4.6 billion yen profit a year earlier, as events were canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hong Kong hedge fund Oasis Management, a major shareholder with a nearly 10% stake, has pressed Tokyo Dome to improve management of its hotel and theme park businesses. In October, it called for Tokyo Dome President Tsutomu Nagaoka and two other board members to resign, citing insufficient progress. The Oasis proposal will be taken up at an extraordinary shareholders meeting on Dec. 17.
Mizuho Bank and Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance are also large shareholders, each with just under a 5% stake. General contractor Takenaka holds slightly less than 4%.
Considering the deepening rift, Mitsui Fudosan gaining control of Tokyo Dome is seen helping to stabilize the company. And with Mitsui Fudosan taking on major redevelopment projects in Tokyo, the deal will pave the way for the two companies to cooperate in the field.