It probably will never happen, but Nintendo is prepared if it does.
Nintendo is largely riding a high right now. Despite missing a hardware forecast for the Switch, the company has seen incredible software sales, increased mobile revenue, and a Chinese distribution deal that could potentially prove very profitable. But you never know what may happen, and Nintendo seems to be prepared for dark days if they should come. President of Nintendo Shuntaro Furukawa talked recently about the mechanisms in place in case of a hostile takeover attempt.
A hostile takeover is, in a nutshell, when one company buys shares of another company against the wishes of its directors with the explicit purpose of taking control. Ubisoft went through a hostile takeover attempt in 2017 by Vivendi, for example. What would happen if someone attempted that with Nintendo? Someone asked Furukawa that at the recent Q&A part of the last financial report, and he said while they have no explicit anti-hostile takeover measures in place, they have thought about it and have connections both inside and outside the company to combat any attempt.
“We have not adopted what is generally called anti-takeover measures,” he said. “However, in the case that we face a malicious takeover which would damage the value of the company or the common interest of the companyʼs shareholders, we do have systems in place, both within the company and in connection with outside experts for such an occurrence, to take all legal and appropriate steps against it even if we have not proactively put preventive measures in place. This is a topic we will continue to investigate further.”
It’s unlikely to happen, as high profile hostile takeovers like that are a rare occurrence, and can often backfire, such as the aforementioned case with Ubisoft and Vivendi. But it’s always something to think about, because you never know what the future holds, after all.