Sumitomo seeks J:COM stake

Sumitomo, the Japanese trading house, has launched a Y122 billion ($1.4bn) tender offer for shares in Jupiter Telecommunications (J:COM) to secure its position as the leading shareholder in Japan's biggest cable television operator after KDDI bought a large stake.

The offer sets the stage for a rare hostile battle between blue-chip Japanese corporations.

Yoshio Osawa, director of Sumitomo and head of its media, network and lifestyle unit, said the group was launching the tender offer to keep J:COM as a core business. He said Sumitomo had supported J:COM since its foundation – supplying capital, management and even its president – and wanted to maintain that co-operation.

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