Family that founded Nintendo over a century ago wants to sell its shares

Nintendo is set to buy back as much as 7.4-percent of its shares from the family of Hiroshi Yamauchi, the company’s third president (out of four) and the grandson of founder Fusajiro Yamauchi. The share buyback has an estimated value of roughly $1.1 billion, though Bloomberg notes that it’s not clear how much Nintendo intends to purchase. Yamauchi’s heirs reportedly have a “desire to sell.”

Nintendo’s founding Yamauchi family wants to sell its holdings in the world’s biggest maker of video-game machines as the company set terms for a 114.2 billion-yen ($1.1 billion) share buyback tomorrow. The company will purchase as many as 9.5 million shares, or 7.4 percent of its outstanding stock, at 12,025 yen apiece from interested investors, Kyoto, Japan-based Nintendo said in a statement today. The heirs to former Chief Executive Officer Hiroshi Yamauchi, who owned about 10 percent of the total shares before his death in September, “desire to sell,” it said. Nintendo announced plans for the buyback as President Satoru Iwata seeks new hit products after the Wii U console flopped with consumers. The company shocked the market in January when it forecast a surprise annual loss, cut sales projections for hardware and games, and said it’s considering a new business model.

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