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Fuji Television Network Inc. has probably secured more than one-third of voting rights in Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. through its public tender offer that ended Monday evening, sources said.

Internet service provider Livedoor Co. and Fuji TV have been engaged in a high-profile battle for control of the radio broadcaster. Fuji TV launched the tender offer in January.

Fuji TV was expected to make public the results of the tender offer Tuesday morning. It reportedly has acquired more than 33.4 percent in terms of voting rights, easily clearing its target of at least a 25 percent stake.

Acquiring more than one-third would give Fuji TV a veto on important resolutions at Nippon Broadcasting general shareholders’ meetings on such matters as management reshuffles and mergers.

With a more than 25 percent stake, Fuji TV could prevent Livedoor, Nippon Broadcasting’s largest shareholder, from indirectly controlling it, as the radio broadcaster would be unable to exercise voting rights through its stake in Fuji TV.

Livedoor emerged as Nippon Broadcasting’s largest shareholder in early February, when it purchased a nearly 30 percent stake in off-hour trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, increasing its stake to 35 percent.

Livedoor, which reportedly has since increased its stake to more than 45 percent in terms of voting rights, apparently purchased more Nippon Broadcasting shares on the market Monday as well, with the aim of securing a majority stake, industry sources said.

Fuji TV offered 5,950 yen per Nippon Broadcasting share for its public tender. But the radio station’s stock closed at 6,600 yen on Monday, up 100 yen, or 1.53 percent, from Friday’s close.

Some market participants have argued that selling Nippon Broadcasting shares below the current market price will undermine the interests of existing shareholders.

Major shareholders in Nippon Broadcasting, including Tokyo Electric Power, Kodansha, Toshiba and Fujisankei Communications Group firms, have expressed their support for the TV broadcaster’s tender offer.

But Toyota and Asahi Breweries said they won’t sell their shares in Nippon Broadcasting to Fuji TV due to the higher market price.

Both Fuji TV and Nippon Broadcasting belong to the Fujisankei conglomerate. Nippon Broadcasting is Fuji TV’s top shareholder, even though its market capitalization is much smaller than Fuji’s.

The Tokyo District Court is expected to rule later this week on Livedoor’s request for a court order to block Nippon Broadcasting from issuing share warrants worth 15.87 billion yen to Fuji TV.

The court’s decision is likely to have a major influence on the takeover battle.

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