Fuji Television Network Inc. will continue talks with Livedoor Co. “at the executive level” on a possible tieup with the Internet service provider, Fuji TV President Koichi Murakami said Friday.

Livedoor, which has taken control of Nippon Broadcasting System Inc., a radio station belonging to the Fujisankei Communications group, has called on Fuji TV, the core company of the group, to become a business ally.

The comment by the Fuji TV president at a news conference came a day after NBS, once Fuji TV’s largest shareholder, lost its entire stake and related voting rights in Fuji TV as a result of a stock loan deal.

In the deal, Softbank Investment Corp., a venture capital company of the Softbank group, became Fuji TV’s largest shareholder by borrowing a stake of 13.88 percent from Nippon Broadcasting.

Many in domestic business circles see it as another step by Fuji TV to try to thwart a possible hostile takeover bid by Internet firm Livedoor.

Murakami denied this, however, claiming the parties had been discussing the share loan even before Livedoor launched the takeover bid for Nippon Broadcasting.

“SBI offered us the deal last year. (Nippon Broadcasting) lent shares (in Fuji TV to SBI) to create a stronger partnership,” Murakami told reporters. “As a result, (SBI) has become the largest shareholder.”

Softbank Investment Chief Executive Officer Yoshitaka Kitao said separately he will meet with Livedoor President Takafumi Horie on Monday.

Kitao’s move is widely seen as an attempt to find a way out of the present hostility between Livedoor and Fuji TV.

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