Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie said Friday the company was prepared for a long struggle to take control of Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. in order to form a business alliance with the Fujisankei media group.
“I don’t know whether (Livedoor’s bid to form the alliance with the Fujisankei group) will be accomplished within six months. It will likely take one to two years at the most,” according to Horie.
Horie also said the company was willing to solidify its control over Nippon Broadcasting, a member of the Fujisankei group, by buying more shares in the radio station operator so that Livedoor can strengthen its influence over other Fujisankei group firms such as Fuji Television Network Inc. The radio broadcaster is Fuji TV’s biggest shareholder.
Buying the Nippon Broadcasting stake “was the biggest decision I’ve ever made in my life,” Horie said. “We will buy more Nippon Broadcasting shares as long as we can afford it.”
Horie brushed aside criticisms of Livedoor’s acquisition of the stake during off-hours trading, a move that has the Financial Services Agency considering asking for a revision to the Securities and Exchange Law.
“We acquired the stake in accordance with rules under the Securities and Exchange Law,” Horie said, adding that the company conducted the transaction after confirming with the agency that such trading was lawful.
Horie also said the move by Lehman Brothers to sell 8.9 million Livedoor shares out of 46.7 million borrowed from him was not surprising.
“Of course I was aware of such a risk,” Horie said. Lending shares to Lehman was a “realistic and effective” way to procure funds, he said.
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