Sky Perfect denies merger report

Co. issues statement claiming it has not made a final decision

TOKYO — Japanese satellite platform Sky Perfect Communications denied Wednesday that it had made definite plans to merge with communications satellite operator Jsat.

It issued a statement saying that while it is “currently looking into strengthening its relationship with, and possible merger with” Jsat, it had made no final decision.

The statement comes on the same day that Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported the pair would merge in the spring.

Paper said both companies’ boards were expected to approve the merger shortly, with Sky Perfect and Jsat becoming the subsids of a new holding company. Shareholders will then meet in February to give the final OK.

Under the new holding company setup, according to the Nikkei report, Sky Perfect prexy Masao Nito will assume the same title, while Jsat director Masanori Akiyama will take the chairman’s post. Meanwhile, the new holding company will take the place of Sky Perfect and Jsat on the TSE first section in April.

Sky Perfect expects pretax profits to rise ninefold this fiscal year to ¥1 billion ($8.5 million), while subs are predicted to rise 5% to 4.31 million. Even so, Sky Perfect is burdened with high operating and marketing costs that a merger — and its accompanying efficiencies — might ease.

Hit by the failure of one of its satellites in July, Jsat has had to lower its profit forecast for the year and is looking to merge its way out of its financial difficulties.

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