Himaraya, one of the three major Japanese sporting goods chains along with Alpen and Xebio, is the target of an unusual tender offer for all its shares launched by Komori Corp., an asset management company that already holds 25.29 percent of its equity. Himaraya’s share price fell by 6.6 percent to 962 yen, valuing the chain at 11.8 billion yen (€93m-$114m), after Komori offered a price of ¥805 for the remaining shares and after Japan closed its borders due to a new wave of Covid-19 contaminations.

Curiously, the price offered by Komori is about 10 percent lower than Himaraya’s average stock market price over the last six months, reducing its chances of getting full control over the retailer. Its share price went up recently as the company recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. Himaraya’s board of directors expressed support for the tender offer but took a neutral position instead of recommending it to the company’s shareholders.

Komori said that it doesn’t intend to de-list Himaraya from the Tokyo or Nagoya stock exchanges. It indicated that it has already arranged to raise its stake in the company to 33.13 percent by taking over a block of shares owned by Mitsubishi Corp. that represents 7.84 percent of Himaraya’s capital. For the past ten years, Mitsubishi and Himaraya have been working together in sourcing, store development and other areas.

Himaraya has just reported a net profit of ¥301 million (€2.37m-$2.91m) for the quarter ended on Nov. 30, against a loss of ¥162 million in the year-ago period, with the gross margin expanding by one percentage point to 35.5 percent because of lower promotional activity. Sales rose by 6 percent to ¥14.77 billion (€116.5m-$142.7m), driven by e-commerce, with outdoor products up by 22 percent and golf by 4 percent, while general sporting goods equipment had a gain of only one percent. The number of stores remained stable at 104.

Expressing optimism that the pandemic will abate in time for next summer’s Tokyo Olympics, Himaraya is forecasting net earnings of ¥272 million (€2.15m-$2.62m) on sales of ¥58.8 billion (€464m-$570m) for the full financial year.