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April 17, 2005

Fuji and Livedoor call a truce in hostile takeover battle

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. That seems to be the overall tone surrounding the recent ceasefire in the battle between Japanese television network firm Fuji and internet portal Livedoor in their fight for control of radio company Nippon Broadcasting System.

By CBR Staff Writer

The aim of the truce appears to be the formation of an alliance between the two companies. Reports are suggesting that Fuji will take a 68.87% stake in the radio network, as well as a small stake in Livedoor itself for an estimated 44bn yen.

Livedoor, meanwhile, is thought to have agreed to reduce its holding in Nippon from 50% to 17.6%, and according to the Financial Times is also selling its affiliate Livedoor Partners to Fuji.

Speculation has hinted that Fuji entered the takeover battle against Livedoor to oppose what it saw as a bid to gain influence over its own operations, through the internet company’s stake in Fuji’s main shareholder Nippon. Others however are said to have embraced Livedoor’s attempt to control Nippon Broadcasting, viewing it as a sign that Japan may be changing its relations with outsiders. It has also been seen as a warning to other firms which have not protected themselves against takeovers.

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