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Nintendo has sold most of its majority stake in the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball franchise to other shareholders for $661 million, the Japanese video game giant said Tuesday.
Legendary Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi, who turned the company from a playing card maker into a gaming powerhouse, invested in the struggling Mariners in 1992. Nintendo’s U.S. operations are based in Seattle. Nintendo of America bought the stake from Yamauchi, who died in 2013, for $67 million in 2004.
Nintendo’s stake will fall from over 50 percent to 10 percent. The company announced in April that it was looking to sell most of its stake to other shareholders in privately held First Avenue Entertainment LLLP, which owns the Mariners along with other businesses, including a local sports network.
The Kyoto-based company has been struggling in recent years as its Wii U console failed to match expectations, but its share price has been boosted by its involvement in the phenomenally successful Pokemon Go augmented reality game.
The company said it will take time to calculate the impact of its sale on its financial results.
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