Sumitomo launches tender offer for J:Com shares

Japan's Sumitomo Corp. said on Monday that it will launch a tender offer for shares of Japan's biggest cable television operator Jupiter Telecommunications Co. (J:Com) to become its largest shareholder.

Sumitomo plans to buy 875,834 shares of J:Com at 139,500 yen per share, the company said in a statement. This will amount to $1.35 billion.

That is 55 per cent higher than Jupiter's closing price of 90,000 yen on Monday.

The offer will run from 3 March until 14 April.

Sumitomo already owns 27.4 per cent of J:Com. The purchase will raise the company's stake in the cable TV operator to 40 per cent.

''The group wanted J:Com to remain one of its core businesses,'' said Yoshio Osawa, director of Sumitomo and head of its media, network and lifestyle unit.