Rakuten to Buy Taiwanese Pro Baseball Team Lamigo Monkeys

Sports Economy

Taipei, Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japanese cybermall operator Rakuten Inc. <4755> said Thursday it will acquire the Lamigo Monkeys, a professional baseball team in Taiwan.

Rakuten reached a basic agreement to buy all outstanding shares in Lamigo Monkeys Co., the operator of the club, from its patent, La New International Corp., a footwear maker. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The Japanese company, which runs the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, a professional baseball team in Japan, will enter pro baseball business in Taiwan from the next season. The Monkeys will be the first Taiwanese pro baseball team to be acquired by a foreign company.

"While respecting what Lamigo has fostered, we'd like to contribute to the further development of Taiwan's professional baseball by making use of the experience the Golden Eagles have acquired," Takashi Watanabe, an official of Rakuten Asia Pte. Ltd., said at a news conference in Taipei.

Rakuten launched business in Taiwan in 2008, running online shopping and credit card operations. It plans to begin banking services in Taiwan through a joint venture next year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press