Officials from Japanese-headquartered publisher and developer Square Enix have announced that recently majority-acquired
Taito will become a wholly owned unit from March 31st 2006, following Square Enix's purchase of a 93.70 percent stake in the company earlier this year.
Existing amusement arcade operator and wholly owned Square Enix subsidiary SQEX Inc. will take over the company through an equity swap, but the resulting entity will retain the Taito name. As a result, Taito will be delisted from the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on March 7th, according to an AFX News report.
The Taito Corporation was founded by Russian Michael Kogan in 1953, and began by importing and distributing vending machines and jukeboxes, before manufacturing its own titles and eventually moving into the arcade and home video games market. The company's games have become popular around the world, with the most recognized including the Space Invaders
, Bubble Bobble
and Chase H.Q.
Although always a prominent force in Japanese arcades, Taito's home console efforts have never been as concerted, with last year's sales of Ą158.5 billion ($1.45bn) being primarily made up of revenue from arcade centers, pachinko machines, karaoke hardware and other areas peripheral to the home video games market.