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Japanese bird flies

Satcaster Sky PerfecTV unveils $1 bil IPO

TOKYO — Sky PerfecTV, Japan’s only direct-to-home satellite platform, will go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Oct. 20.

IPO will help Sky PerfecTV, with over 2.3 million subscribers, gear up for competition against new satcasters from Japan’s commercial networks that will take to the air in December. It will also help the company prepare for broadcasts on an advanced communications satellite.

Sky PerfecTV expects to raise about $1 billion from its IPO. Japanese brokerage Nomura Securities will act as the chief underwriter. Company will issue 465,000 shares — 400,000 newly issued, 65,000 being sold by private owners of the company.

Proceeds from the IPO will also go to program purchasing with soccer high on the buy list. A few weeks ago, Sky PerfecTV said that it landed the highly sought-after broadcast rights to all 64 games of the 2002 soccer World Cup to be played in Japan and South Korea. The Japanese games in the last World Cup set ratings marks not seen for decades.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the financial daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Sky PerfecTV paid 12 billion yen ($113 million) for the rights.

Game for 10 webs

Sky PerfecTV will set up 10 channels dedicated to the games and will time shift some of the games to allow viewers to see some of the hottest action. The satcaster will also set up a 24-hour World Cup highlight channel.

One of the original investors in Sky PerfecTV, software house Softbank, will sell 45,000 of its 182,000 shares. The other main investors in Sky PerfecTV are News Corp., Sony and Japanese web Fuji TV.

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