Mercari to Acquire Japanese Soccer Club Kashima Antlers

Sports

Tokyo, July 30 (Jiji Press)--Mercari Inc. <4385>, a Japanese online flea market operator, said Tuesday that it will acquire a majority stake in the Kashima Antlers, a professional soccer club in the J1 top division of the Japan Professional Football League, or J.League.

Mercari will acquire a 61.6 pct stake in Kashima Antlers F.C. Co., which operates the club, from Nippon Steel Corp. <5401> on Aug. 30 for some 1.6 billion yen. The J.League's board approved the transaction on Tuesday.

"We're excited about being able to support the management of a leading soccer club in Japan," Mercari Chief Operating Officer Fumiaki Koizumi said at a press conference in Tokyo.

The acquisition will help Mercari expand its customer base, Koizumi said. The company has been one of the sponsors of the Antlers since 2017.

Kashima Antlers F.C. President Hiroshi Shono said that the deal comes as the environment surrounding the J.League is drastically changing.

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Jiji Press