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Final Fantasy Maker skips that it can be a target for mergers and acquisitions

(Bloomberg) – The company behind the popular series of games Final Fantasy, grew in Tokyo on Friday after a report that it has received interest from potential buyers.

Square Enix Holdings Co. rose 12% on Friday, up from eight months after a report from the deal’s news site CTFN quoted two unidentified bankers. Square Enix said it had not received any offers and was not considering a sale.

“We are not considering selling the company or any part of its business, nor have we received an offer from a third party to acquire the company or any part of its business,” the company said in a statement.

Shares in Square Enix traded close to last year̵

7;s record highs, giving it a market value of 845 billion yen ($ 7.8 billion). In addition to Final Fantasy, he has published the role-playing series Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts and owns the Tomb Raider franchise.

“With intellectual property that has remained popular for years and years, Square Enix has strong brand power,” said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co.

Against the backdrop of growing competition for the largest exclusive properties and rising revenues as a result of the pandemic, mergers and acquisitions in the video game sector are growing. According to data collected by Bloomberg, in 2020 the deals were worth almost $ 25 billion. Much of this has been done since the acquisition of Microsoft Corp. for $ 7.5 billion to the owner of Bethesda Softworks, the producer of the series The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout. Electronic Arts Inc. topped Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s competitive offering to buy racing game maker Codemasters Group Holdings Plc for $ 1.2 billion.

“Mergers and acquisitions will remain stable after a record volume of transactions – both in number and value in dollars – in 2020, with many game makers having cash-rich balance sheets,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Canterman. , “But they are likely to target smaller, private developers, as opposed to the big ones on the list. “

Far from the first time, the producer of Final Fantasy is a possible acquisition target. Prior to its merger with Enix, Microsoft intended to acquire Square in 1999, but the deal was rejected because it was too low.

The report also boosted some other gaming stocks in Tokyo, such as Koei Tecmo Holdings Co. increased by 2.9%.

(Updates with commentary from Square Enix from the second paragraph)

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