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Tokyopop Going Public ?

posted on 2005-01-13 15:39 EST
Very Unique Stock Situation

According to the Nikkei Kinyu Shimbun's list of companies planning an initial public offering in 2005, Tokyopop, is planning a public offering in 2005. Although Tokyopop's principal area of business is in North America, the main company is registered as a Japanese corporation, with a subsidiary in Los Angeles. As such, Tokyopop will be listed on the Japanese stock exchange instead of a North American exchange, a very uncommon situation for a company whose principal area of business is in North America.

Current shareholders of Tokyopop include SoftBank Finance Corporation (the largest investor), Mitsui MVC, Nippon Venture Capital, Trans Cosmos and numerous others (A list of investors is available on Tokyopop's website).

Currently Tokyopop is a privately held firm and does not publish its annual sales & earnings, however the Nihon Sangyou Shimbun (published by Nikkei) states that Tokyopop's estimated sales for fiscal 2003 was 7 billion yen (US$68 million), the Nihon Keizai Shimbun ads that the company's balance has been in the black since 2002. They also state that Tokyopop holds over 50% of the North American manga market.

Tokyopop was founded in 1996 by Stuart Levy and moved heavily into the manga market in 2001, committing to the "100% Authentic Manga" concept (unflopped manga) in early 2002. Manga is one of the fastest growing segments of the North American publishing market (according to Tokyopop's website, it is the fastest growing segment), with total sales believed to have doubled between 2003 and 2004.

Currently no information is available regarding what Tokyopop's total market capitalization would be.

At this time, Tokyopop representatives were not able to comment on the public offering.

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