Nintendo to sell stake in Seattle Mariners baseball team

Pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Mariners include many Japanese stars like Hisashi Iwakuma

Japanese gaming company Nintendo plans to sell its majority stake in the US baseball team, Seattle Mariners.

A statement said it had begun talks to sell "a portion of its ownership". Once a deal is done, Nintendo will no longer be the team's principal owner.

It has struggled to repair its finances in the face of competition from mobile gaming. On Wednesday it released a 60% net profit drop for the past year.

Nintendo took over the team in 1992 when it was at risk of being relocated.

The president at the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi, then pushed the investment so it could become the principal owner of the Mariners. Since then, the baseball team has had several star Japanese players including Ichiro Suzuki and Hisashi Iwakuma.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Nintendo is struggling with mobile gaming competition

Nintendo's ownership also helped boost the team's popularity among Japanese baseball fans.

Profits from the planned Seattle Mariners sale were not reflected in Wednesday's weak financial forecasts and the firm said that they would "adjust the financial forecasts and release them as needed" once a deal was agreed.

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