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KDDI to Sell $100 Million Gree Stake to Book Investment Profit

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- KDDI Corp., Japan’s second-biggest wireless carrier, plans to sell a $100 million stake in mobile-game operator Gree Inc. to book a profit from its six-year investment.

The carrier has asked Daiwa Securities Group Inc. to sell 8 million Gree shares between Feb. 13 and May 12, it said in a regulatory filing today. KDDI, the second-largest shareholder in Gree, will retain 8 million shares, or about 3 percent.

“We can profit from the sale,” Keiichi Sakurai, a spokesman for Tokyo-based KDDI, said by phone today. “The sale will also let Gree do business more freely.”

Gree has more than doubled in Tokyo trading since listing in 2008 on rising mobile phone usage and the popularity of games including “Monster Quest” and “Crime City”. This year, the company has fallen 14 percent after forecasting a decline in annual profit because of delays to new games and costs from expanding overseas.

The game developer rose 2.7 percent to 1,154 yen in Tokyo trading today before the KDDI announcement. KDDI first invested in the company in 2006, according to Gree’s website.

“There won’t be any change in our relationship,” Shinichi Iriyama, a Gree spokesman, said by phone. “We will continue building a good relationship with KDDI.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Naoko Fujimura in Tokyo at nfujimura@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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