Nintendo’s bottom line got a nice bump last year thanks to Seattle’s professional baseball team.
Nintendo also revealed how much it made off selling its ownership stake of the Seattle Mariners, the Major League Baseball club it bought in 1992. Nintendo of America sold off most of its majority stake in August 2016 to minority owners — it still owns 10 percent of the team — in a deal that put about 64.5 billion yen, or $580 million, into the company’s bank account. The deal valued the Mariners at $1.4 billion.
Fluctuations in currency rates made the total U.S. dollar value decrease since original reports of the deal’s value.
Bloomberg reported last year that Nintendo planned to use cash from selling its stake in the Mariners to fund its foray into filmmaking.
Howard Lincoln, the former chairman of Nintendo of America, stepped down as Mariners CEO after the sale and was replaced by wireless pioneer and Microsoft board member John Stanton, who was previously a minority owner of the Mariners and is now the “controlling party” of the existing ownership group made up of 17 minority owners.
Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamachui was the first non-North American to own a professional baseball team and saved the Mariners from moving to Tampa, Fla., in 1992. The late Yamachui attracted Japanese stars like Ichiro Suzuki and Kazuhiro Sasaki to Seattle, as the Mariners became extremely popular in Japan.
Nintendo, which has its North American headquarters in Redmond, Wash., reported operating profit of 29.4 billion yen ($263 million) for its fiscal year, and said it expects profits to more than double to 65 billion yen ($584 million) in the new fiscal year.