J:Com tender period closes

MSO reports subscriber numbers up during fiscal year

TOKYO – Jupiter Communications added 112,000 cable subscribers in the fiscal year to March 31, the nation’s leading multiple system operator announced Wednesday, the day that Sumitomo Corp.’s tender offer for a controlling stake closed.
Cable subscribers grew to 2.6 million while revenue generating units topped 6 million for the first time, up 5.8%, thanks to strong growth in its Internet and phone services.
J:COM has been the target of a two-way low-key battle for control – still a rarity in the Japanese corporate world -- between trading house Sumitomo and telecom KDDI, since Liberty Media announced sale of its $4 billion stake in January.
KDDI wanted access to the J:COM’s growing Internet and telecom base, while Sumitomo has been keen to keep control of the company it jointly founded and still provides much senior management for.
Sumitomo’s tender offer for 12.5% of J:COM ended today and should give it a controlling 40% stake. KDDI retains around 37% of the company, but some of this is held in a non-voting trust.