Softbank Investment Corp. officials said Monday that talks between top managers of the venture capital company and Internet portal Livedoor Co. were canceled for the day at Livedoor’s request.
“We received a cancellation request citing reasons of the other side,” a Softbank Investment official said.
Sources said the Livedoor side decided to cancel out of a wariness toward Yoshitaka Kitao, Softbank Investment’s chief executive officer, who boasts he is a seasoned veteran of mergers and acquisitions.
Kitao had expressed his intention to meet with Livedoor President Takafumi Horie at the latter’s request after announcing Thursday that Softbank Investment, which belongs to the Softbank Corp. group, had become Fuji Television Network Inc.’s largest shareholder.
The meeting was expected to focus on the ongoing takeover battle between Livedoor and Fuji TV for control of Nippon Broadcasting System Inc., as well as on Livedoor’s proposal to form a business alliance with the television network.
The meeting had drawn keen attention in business circles, with some expecting that Kitao might be able to present ways of resolving the fight between Livedoor and the Fujisankei media conglomerate.
However, Livedoor decided to cancel the meeting given various provocative remarks Kitao made to media organizations over the weekend, according to the sources.
On one TV program, Kitao said there was a “99 percent chance” that whoever tried to fight him in court would lose. Some within Livedoor opposed a meeting with Kitao as they did not know what he might have up his sleeve, and urged that talks with Fuji TV on forging a business alliance continue, the sources said.
Another reason Livedoor decided to forgo the meeting was because it could no longer be held discreetly after Kitao told the media about it, they said.
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