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Nintendo share price on rise of not-right comment perception from Gates Ninty buy...

Alcibiades

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Jun 6, 2004
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http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=internetNews&storyID=5880471&section=news

Nintendo shares climb on Microsoft interest report
Thu 5 August, 2004 08:58

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo shares have risen nearly four percent after a German magazine reported that U.S. software giant Microsoft was interested in buying the Japanese game maker.

A Microsoft official declined to comment on Thursday's report and Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said the two companies were not in talks and called the article "unreliable".

Nintendo shares rose 3.8 percent to 12,580 yen (62 pounds) on the Osaka Securities Exchange, outperforming a 0.46 percent gain in the Japan's benchmark Nikkei average The shares rose as much as five percent.

German weekly WirtschaftsWoche had reported that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates had expressed interest in buying Nintendo if it were for sale.

"When (Nintendo's top shareholder) Hiroshi Yamauchi calls, he will get me on the phone immediately," the magazine quoted Gates as saying. "This is a very personal decision for Yamauchi."

A source close to Microsoft in Redmond, Washington said Gates' comments were misinterpreted.

Yamauchi, Nintendo's president for more than 50 years before retiring in 2002, holds 10 percent of the company's shares and is one of the richest men in Japan with a fortune valued at $1.4 billion by Forbes.

He transformed Kyoto-based Nintendo from a maker of playing cards to a video game giant with legendary titles like "Super Mario Bros." and "Donkey Kong".

Nintendo, which has a market capitalisation of about $16 billion, is often the subject of takeover rumours because it sits on a $5 billion cash pile.

One analyst called the report "rubbish" and pointed to Microsoft's plan to distribute $75 billion in cash to shareholders over the next four years as a sign that the software giant seemed unlikely to make a major acquisition.