• Sony sell 8.58% stake in SQUARE ENIX - Don't Panic! (Yet)

    April 16th, 2014. Sony Corporation made the surprising announcement that they will be selling off all of their shares they have in SQUARE ENIX Holdings Co., Ltd. The shares will be sold to SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., one of the three largest brokerage firms in Japan.

    It's expected that all 9,520,000 shares will be transferred, amounting to around $47 million (4.8 billion yen). The sale will be included in Sony's. full-year financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

    Now, the initial reaction to this is probably: WHAT!? But, don't panic just yet.

    It's rumored that Sony's shares were nonvoting. Sony made an equity investment in Square around the time Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within tanked. After the merger with Enix, Sony's ownership position was diluted even further and remained functionally irrelevant.

    Square Enix have had a fairly successful 12 months. Tomb Raider, although it sold below the unreasonable expectations of the company, still sold well. The re-release of FINAL FANTASY XIV brought a return to profit and Bravely Default has become an unexpected success story in the west, causing Square Enix to completely rethink it's strategy for western markets.

    Sony, on the other hand, have been on the financial rocks for quite some time now. The company has been undergoing some massive restructuring, including selling off it's Vaio computer division and spinning off the TV operations into a seperate business following it's loss of $7.8 billion over the past 10 years. Sony also plans to close 20 of it's retail stores and cut 1,000 jobs in it's electronics division by the end of 2014. Sony also recently made substantial lay-offs at it's Santa Monica Studios, the studio behind the high-profile God of War series, as well as canning the triple-A project they had in the works.

    The end result of this share sale is that Sony will receive around $47 million and SMBC Nikko Securites Inc. will receive around 9.5 million shares. This move, overall, seems to be an attempt by Sony to balance it's books even further - rather than something that spells out Doom and Gloom for Square Enix.

    In the short-term, very little is likely to change.

    So, don't panic... yet!

    [Source: Sony Sells Off All Of Its Shares In Square Enix - Siliconera ]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Sony sell 8.58% stake in SQUARE ENIX - Don't Panic! (Yet) started by Aulayna View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Carl the Llama's Avatar
      Carl the Llama -
      Does this mean they no longer have a say in FFVII, VII & IX?
    1. Vyk's Avatar
      Vyk -
      Sounds like an entirely business decision with no underlying hints to be worth reading into. Square is becoming a rising star again. The stock is probably worth a lot more than it previously was. Sony is hurting a little, and needs to make a quick buck. Sell shares at a profit. Not really a big deal. Interesting peek into the business side of the medium though, since fans rarely consider these kinds of things. At least until it's too late. This one is either neutral, or good. So its cool. So far anyway
    1. Bolivar's Avatar
      Bolivar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Carl the Llama View Post
      Does this mean they no longer have a say in FFVII, VII & IX?
      Shareholders rarely have any say in their company other than who to appoint to the board of directors. I do think Sony holds the publishing rights to FFVII in the West though.

      This is definitely more about Sony than SE, they've been liquidating all kinds of assets since Kaz took over, trying to get the company back in the black. The stocks didn't equate to much as Square began multiplatform development shortly after Sony invested, according to the article. I'd say it's more than likely they made a profit from this.
    1. black orb's Avatar
      black orb -
      >>> Someone is going to pay 47 million dollars for a bunch of SE shares? good lord..
    1. Vyk's Avatar
      Vyk -
      It's probably a good time to buy random shares, since Square's stock value is likely to rise in the near future, with their big-budget expected games coming out in the next year or so, plus with the resounding success of Bravely Default, and (whether they want to admit it or not), things like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and Sleeping Dogs all achieved critical acclaim and sold marginally well, if not extremely well (didn't TR top Steam sales charts for like a month or two? The only way they could have made more money off of it was to sell it at a higher price. People wanted it, people got it, people enjoyed it. And a lot of people are buying it a second time on a newer console. I think it's ridiculous to re-sell a game that's barely a year old, but it's becoming quite the underdog giant)
    1. Depression Moon's Avatar
      Depression Moon -
      I was thinking they were selling these shares because Square hasn't been doing much lately and so they weren't making much from the shares, but I agree XV and Kingdom Hearts III might sell a lot so they would be worth something again.
    1. Jiro's Avatar
      Jiro -
      Nice of Sony to show solidarity like that back in the day. Sucks they're having trouble.
    1. krissy's Avatar
      krissy -
      nintendo tilts their fedora and walks up to squareenix at the bar

      "excuse me m'lady"


      "can't help to see you've got the most beautiful 8.58% of your stocks uncovered"

      "i uh security??? anyone?"

      "was wondering if i could fill that with... mushroom kingdom hearts"
  • EoFF on Twitter

  • Square Enix on Twitter