DirecTV Japan to issue bonds

Satcaster looks to strengthen capital base

TOKYO — DirecTV Japan decided at an extraordinary board meeting on Tuesday to issue at least 30 billion yen ($258.6 million) in convertible bonds to strengthen its capital base.

The bond issue could come by September for this country’s second-largest direct-to-home satcaster, a DirecTV Japan official said, adding the bond proceeds also would be used for operating expenses.

The major investors in DirecTV Japan would underwrite the bonds based on the amount of the investment they have in the company, the official said. The respective companies must approve the issue before it can move forward.

The U.S.’ Hughes Electronics holds a 42% stake in the firm, followed by video rental chain Culture Convenience Club Co. with a 14.5% stake, Matsushita with an 12% stake, Tokuma Shoten Publishing at 9%; and Dai Nippon Printing and Mitsubishi with 5.8% each.

DirecTV Japan recently passed the 300,000-subscriber mark.

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