Video Rental Store Chain To Be Lead Shareholder Of Kakaku.com

Digital Garage's LogoKakaku.com's Logo

Logo of Culture Convenience Club Tsutaya's Logo

A Shibuya-based Internet conglomerate Digital Garage (DG) announced on Thursday that it would sell a half of all the shares of Kakaku.com[J], a B2C price comparison site and a subsidiary of DG, to Culture Convenience Club (CCC) owning Japan’s largest nationwide store chain providing video rental service called Tsutaya[J].   CCC plans to purchase 58,360 shares of Kakaku.com for approx. USD181M (USD JPY18.1B) on May 25th.

DG will obtain USD157M (JPY15.7B) as the profit arisen from the gap between its book price and this time’s evaluation price, and the company declare it in the business year ending in June, 2009.   DG’s two subsidiaries of Technorati Japan (search engine for blog) and DG Communications[J] (estate advertising) posted operating losses due to some reasons caused by this economic downturn.

DG also announced it would be partnering with CCC, which contains merging payment services being operated by the two companies and helping oversea cloud service providers to enter Japanese market.

Kakaku.com earns relatively higher profit among the DG group companies, however its parent company DG was forced to do so to cover the deficit before reporting figures.   This announcement pushed up DG’s share price to a limit-up in Friday morning, then in afternoon it declined under the previous day’s closing price.

In connection with this time’s new partnership, Joi Ito, managing director for DG and also known as the CEO of Creative Commons(CC), disclosed on his blog that he had joined the board of directors at CCC.   Now he is the management of CC and CCC as you see.