(Japan) Index Rehabilitation: Sega, J Trust Seek Holdings Company

Monday, August 12th, 2013

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It has been while since we reported on news of Index Corporation’s rehabilitation. So, take this document as a recap of what has happened so far.

Index Corporation - oprainfall

Back at the end of June, Index, the parent of company of video game company Atlus, filed for a streamlined version of bankruptcy called “rehabilitation.” The company had a listed debt of 24.5 billion yen (roughly $248.7 million USD). Since then, the courts have approved their filing and allowed them to proceed, with auctions starting at the end of July. In addition, the Osaka-based stock exchange JASDAQ has delisted the company as of July 28th. On the same day, Index Chairman Masami Ochiai and CEO Yoshimi Ochiai resigned.

The auction began a couple weeks ago with Index seeking as much as 15 billion yen ($155.5 million USD) in a sale. Within the first week as many as 20 companies came forward with interest in buying the company. This list of companies includes Sega Sammy Holdings, one of a few companies that was rumored to be in play for Index when we last reported on the proceedings. Sega also has been acting as a distributor for Atlus games in Japan. The bids have been as high as 20 billion yen ($207.4 million USD), 5 billion more than expected.

Late last week, it was reported by Bloomberg that J Trust Co., a Japanese financial service, is looking to bid on Index. The company, which is 5% owned by investment banking firm Goldman Sachs Group, has roughly 130 billion yen ($1.3 billion USD), with 97.7 billion yen coming from a rights offer this past month, to spend on takeover bids. Index Corporation is one of the companies they are looking at.

From the looks of things, J Trust wants to tap into the mobile gaming market with Index. From Bloomberg’s report:

” ‘It’s a good idea to buy companies that do communication and application businesses for smartphones and tap their client bases to market our financial services,’ Fujisawa said on Aug. 5, citing the successes of online retailer Rakuten Inc. and Yahoo Japan Corp. They ‘started as providers of Internet services and grew bigger by attracting existing customers into their financial businesses.’ ”

Bidding will continue through August. A final decision is expected at the end of the month.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.

  • I hope the right folks get them, I wish it was Sony above all.

  • Sum Gai

    I hope Sony doesn’t get it.

  • formerroadie

    Goldman Sachs? you mean one of the major players in tanking the world economy? KEEP YOUR GREEDY PAWS OFF MY GAMES!

  • NinTemple

    I’m not sure I COMPLETELY trust Sega with anything besides flagship Sonic games.

    I don’t want Goldman Sachs to turn Atlus into a smartphone game company.

    Nintendo I would trust, but they don’t seem interested(?) and I would feel bad for Sony fans who would lose access to those franchises.

    Sony I would trust, but they don’t seem interested(?) and I would feel SUPER bad for Nintendo fans (me!) who would lose access to those franchises.

    • Tacodeman

      Goldman and J Trust wouldn’t make Atlus into a smartphone game company. They’re looking to buy Index which is a smartphone content company that would also come with Atlus.

      Goldman, being the smart people they are would be wise to spin off Atlus since its fairly profitable on its own so they can focus on restructuring Index’s mobile content division (if that is really what they are after).

      So, I am actually hoping that this happens since it leaves Atlus with its independence and has major monetary backing if it needs.

    • Splicer

      Oh sure, lets give Atlus to a company which is partly responsible for corrupting the American government and destroying the economy, I would much rather have Sony buy Atlus than hand it over to those soulless pricks. (And I want Nintendo to buy Atlus)

    • Guy Rainey

      Nintendo is (probably) interested in protecting their investment in Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei. If Sony is the biggest bidder, Nintendo will probably step in to secure that substantial investment. Otherwise, Nintendo will probably make deals with whatever third-party buys them.

    • multibottler0cket

      Classic Nintendo vs Sega rivalry!

  • ParrotProphet

    Sega Sammy? The same company that made Arc System Works lose the rights to Guilty Gear for over 10 years…and they are interested in Atlus and the like? No thanks.

    I’m in the camp that would want Nintendo to step in.

  • Thedude3445

    It’s simple logic that Nintendo is one of the twenty companies, even if it hasn’t been revealed yet, but how high do you think they are willing to bid? $200 million is already huge. I just hope Atlus goes to a gaming company rather than just some huge investment firm.

    • Torchman007

      The amount of merchandise Atlus produces as well as the fact they could potentially get a cut of the Persona 3 movies, as well as a huge backlog of quality games to rerelease, means Atlus can EASILY make back the money for anyone who bought it.

    • SEGAMew

      Last I checked, Nintendo only put $13 million on Atlus (versus $200 million by SEGA themselves). The low bid is likely due to having much larger agendas to attend to.

  • Charlotte Buckingham

    Oh man… I hope J Trust doesn’t get them and then turn them into a mobile developer… Mobile games can be good, but I don’t want all my Atlus games for phones.

  • TwinTails

    I wouldn’t mind if Sega bought them, but I’d still prefer Nintendo. If someone like Konami or Sqaure Enix got them, then I’d start to worry.

  • multibottler0cket

    Sega could do good, but I’d rather Nintendo have them. I’m worried that if anyone else buys Atlus, their games will be on random platforms. One thing Atlus does well is (mostly) keep a franchise on platforms by the same company. Like, SMT and Etrian Odyssey on Nintendo, Persona on Sony, etc.

    If Sega, or J Trust gets them, I hope they don’t release say, an SMT game for Vita, then another for iOS/Android, then the next one on 3DS. That kind of stuff gets on my nerves.

    Nintendo and Atlus have been doing well together for the past few years, with games like SMTIV, Etrian Odysseys 1-4, Radiant Historia, and SMTxFE. It would be a shame for that trend to end. My only concern is that if Nintendo acquires them, though it will be great for me, a huge oldschool JRPG and Nintendo fan, it will suck for Persona fans who only own Sony systems.

    I’m anxious to see how this plays out, and I’m pretty worried, but we’ll see…

  • John Ellis

    Who are the other 19 bidders?

  • taekk

    I much prefer Sega over Nintendo. Sega is not so paranoid about imports and even released games that have full bilingual support such as Resonance of Fate. Nintendo on the other hand will lock everything down like it’s guantanamo.

    The worst would be some finance heads who will treat it like a cash cow to milk and push mobile like some shady drug dealers.

    • R. Butler

      Yet they’ve held back on some of their OWN franchises. What about the Phantasy Star Portable games that were barely advertised outside of Japan, despite them being great offline single-player/online multiplayer RPGs? Or their absolute bumbling of their flagship games under Team Sonic? Honestly, I’d be terrified if Sega got ahold of them, unless they SPECIFICALLY state that they won’t mess with Atlus’s operations…

      Honestly, I hope Atlus finds a way to break off and go indie. I think they would be AWESOME as a solo developer. Maybe get someone else for publishing & distribution if its more than they could handle (about the only thing I trust Squeenix to do right anymore). Probably a pipe dream, but whoever buys them should just hand Atlus money and nothing more; any interference with what they do would just ruin everything.

    • taekk

      I agree, Index seemed pretty cool as they just let Atlus do their stuff without interfering. Some other holding company like that would be best but without all the illegal accounting of course.

    • taekk

      Also, Sega Sammy Holdings is a holding company just like Index that deals with anything from pachinko to Amusement Facilities. If you want Atlus to stay as it is now, it’s a much better bet than Nintendo.


  • Dominic St-Jacques

    I think the best case scenario is that a third party developer buys Atlus, that would spare the internet a lot of drama
    Though between Nintendo and Sony, Nintendo would be much better.
    Why? Simple answer: Shin Megami tensei x Fire Emblem

    Having games become exclusive to Nintendo is a much more tolerable possibility than having a game outright cancelled…especially one that would make me (and plenty others) want to buy a Wii U

  • Bartz Klaus

    Sega? Awww… I have been having a bad feeling about Sega as of late. It seems like the only games that they localize are sonic games. I’m still waiting on Phantasy Star Online 2.. Well, whoever gets Atlus, I hope they don’t hold Atlus back.

  • TrueWiiMaster

    Wait a minute, what? Smartphone games?! I have a new worst case scenario…