Monkeys’ GM Confirmed Rakuten as the Buyer

After months of rumours and speculation, the Lamigo Monkeys has revealed the identity of the team’s new buyer. On September 18, the general manager of the Lamigo Monkeys confirmed it is indeed Japan’s Rakuten Inc.

“We will hold a press conference along with the representatives from Rakuten on September 19,” said the Lamigo Monkeys’ general manager Justin Liu.

Notes: The Rakuten rumour began to circulate in early September. It is right after Rakuten received the approval for banking operations in Taiwan. (New Trackers)

Rumoured Deal Could Be Worth $22.6 Million

According to UDN, both parties have agreed to terms on September 17. The Monkeys have since informed the league and the other CPBL team owners about it.

Based on the early speculation, the deal is rumoured to be worth at least $10.2 million USD. There are also rumour it is not a full takeover, and it is likely to be a joint-venture between Rakuten and Lamigo Monkeys.

Updates: According to ETtoday, the deal is worth between $17 million to $22.6 million USD. Other news outlet reported that Rakuten originally offered $16.1 million USD, but the Monkeys turned down the offer.

As always, we will stay on top of this and will provide more details after the press conference on September 18.

Further Reading

Here is a news tracker we put together to document all the rumours and speculation leading up to the sale. Several well known conglomerates has been named by the media as the potential buyer.


  1. Do you think this means more player transfers between the Golden Eagles and the Monkeys? For example, could some young Japanese players in Rakuten’s system play for Lamigo if they are not ready to start for Rakuten’s NPB minor league team?

    • I’ve been thinking about that too. Could be some loop-holes if both NPB and CPBL teams fall under the same Rakuten umbrella.

      What we might see is the rental system. For example, if a certain Monkeys’ player played exceptionally well, the team might “loan him” to Rakuten Eagles in the next season without any “posting fee” or waiting for him to be eligible for international FA.

      I’m not entirely sure the official rule on that. But if a player is still under contract with the team, they are considered as the team’s asset, the team should be able to send them wherever they want. Given they still retain his spot in the 60-man roster.

      As for NPB players coming to CPBL, that could happen too. For example, a prospect need some seasoning, but they can’t find a starting spot or enough game time for him in the NPB farm team. Rather get him to sit on the bench, send him to Taiwan and play in the farm league.


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