NEWS - Thursday, May 1, 2003
Namcos May 9th Deadline for SegaNamco seeks Sega reply to merger proposal by May 9 TOKYO, May 1 (Reuters) - Japanese game maker Namco Ltd said on Thursday it had set a May 9 deadline for fellow game maker Sega Corp to respond to its merger proposal. Namco, creator of the popular "Tekken" fighting video games, said on April 17 that it wanted Sega to open merger talks, threatening to torpedo Segas planned October integration with pinball-style pachinko machine maker Sammy Corp. In an effort to reduce uncertainty among investors, Namco said it written to Sega on Thursday and wanted an answer to its proposal by next Friday. "What the two companies should do now is to clarify what each party is planning to do," Namco said in a statement. A Sega spokesman confirmed that it had received the request and would continue to consider the issue in order to come up with an answer. He declined to elaborate. Last week, board members of Sega, known for its "Sonic the Hedgehog" games, gave the go-ahead for the company to officially consider the merger deals proposed by both Sammy and Namco. Sega has said it was aiming to make a final decision by the middle of May so that a deal could be approved by a shareholders meeting slated for late June. Sega is scheduled to announce its earnings for the year that ended in March on May 19 and Namco plans to unveil its results on May 21. Sammys earnings announcement is due on May 8. Shares in Sega closed up 4.24 percent at 688 yen, while Namcos stock rose 3.47 percent to 1,729 yen and Sammys stock gained 1.02 percent to 2,475 yen. That compared with a 0.41 percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei 225 average.