Power Rangers gobble up Pac-Man

Toy co. buys up vidgame giant Namco for $1.7 bil

Power Rangers, meet Pac-Man.

In a major deal for the videogame market, Japanese toy company Bandai, whose properties include the Power Rangers and Digimon, has acquired Japanese vidgame giant Namco, company behind classic “Pac-Man” and current hit games such as “Tekken,” for $1.7 billion in cash and stock.

Combination will create Japan’s second-biggest maker of toys and vidgames.

Bandai purchased 6.3% of Namco for ¥10.5 billion ($100 million) in cash. Namco shareholders will then receive one share each per Namco share in a new combined company, valuing their stock at $15.20 a share, about 14% higher than Thursday’s close.

New company, to be named Namco Bandai Holdings, will have increased funds for vidgame development to help it compete in the fast-growing vidgame market, as well as access to a library of characters it can adapt into games.

In addition to bringing its characters Stateside, Bandai is partnered with a number of American media companies such as WB, Disney and Cartoon Network to make toys based on their properties.

While it’s a giant in Japan, Namco is a smaller, but still significant player in the American vidgame market.

Deal is expected to close Sept. 29. Execs in charge will be Bandai president Takeo Takasu and Namco vice chairman Kyushiro Takagi.

The acquisition is pending approval by shareholders at Bandai’s June 23 meeting and Namco’s June 25 meeting. The two companies are expected to delist from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Sept. 22.

(Bloomberg News contributed to this report.)

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