Livedoor Co. might take legal action against Nippon Broadcasting System Inc.’s loan of Fuji Television Network Inc. shares to Softbank Investment Corp., Livedoor sources said Friday.

Livedoor, which holds a majority of voting rights in NBS, is in talks with lawyers to consider whether legal steps would be effective to cancel the stock loan deal, which is seen as another step by Fuji TV to thwart the possibility of a hostile takeover by the Internet firm.

The stock loan, which took effect the previous day, involves the venture capital company of the Softbank group borrowing 353,704 Fuji TV shares held by NBS, for about five years.

Under the deal, Softbank Investment has borrowed until April 1, 2010, a 13.88 percent stake in Fuji TV, bringing its total voting rights in Fuji TV to 14.67 percent.

NBS, which was Fuji TV’s largest shareholder, has given up its entire stake in Fuji TV as a result of the deal, making it hard for Livedoor to wield power over Fuji TV through the radio company.

Judicial sources say it might be difficult for Livedoor to seek a court ban on the stock loan because it is different from issuing stock warrants, which is strictly regulated under the Commercial Code.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.