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Japanese game maker Sega Sammy sells resort to US fund

YURI KAGEYAMA
May 10, 2024

TOKYO (AP) -- Sega Sammy is selling its resort complex Seagaia to Fortress Investment Group of the U.S., the Japanese entertainment company said Friday.

Tokyo-based Sega Sammy Holdings, the company behind the "Sonic the Hedgehog" video games, said it will sell all its shares in Phoenix Resort Co., which operates Seagaia in Miyazaki, southwestern Japan.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move, approved by the Sega Sammy board of directors, will result in a gain of about 8.5 billion yen ($55 million) in extraordinary income for the fiscal year through March 2025.

New York-based Fortress was chosen, Sega Sammy said in a statement, because of its experience since the company has acquired 176 hotels since 2011.

Sega Sammy will continue to work with Phoenix, acquiring 20% of voting rights through newly issued shares after the ownership sale is completed.

Also Friday, Sega Sammy reported its profit fell in the fiscal year that ended in March, to 33 billion yen ($212 million), from 45.9 billion yen the year before. Its sales rose 20% to 467.8 billion yen ($3 billion).

Sega Sammy has various entertainment operations, including video games like "Persona 3 Reload," which recorded 1 million downloads in the first week after its launch in February, and the older but still popular "Angry Birds" and "Like a Dragon."

It also makes toys and pachinko and so-called "pachislot" machines, and owns intellectual property in animation works.

The company is banking on its Sonic licensing revenue through games and movies, a sector that has grown 10-fold in the last five years.

Although Sega Sammy's resort operations recently returned to profitability, they suffered during the pandemic, when travel to Japan and within the country was disrupted.

By turning over management of Seagaia to Fortress, Sega Sammy intends to better focus on its core strengths like video games.

Fortress is majority owned by Japanese telecoms and technology company SoftBank Group Corp., though the Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala announced in May 2023 that it would buy a majority stake in Fortress Investment from SoftBank. The deal has yet to be finalized due to regulatory requirements.

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Yuri Kageyama is on X: https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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