Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie said Thursday that an equity alliance with Fuji Television Network Inc. is necessary for the continued expansion of his company’s business.
“It won’t go well without an equity alliance,” Horie said in an interview with Kyodo News.
At the same time, he added that the Internet service provider and Fuji TV will have to agree to “some sort of truce” so both sides can feel at ease when discussing possible cooperation.
Horie thus indicated a desire for reconciliation between the two companies, which have been locked in a bitter battle for control of Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. ever since Livedoor’s surprise acquisition of a 35 percent stake in the radio company in early February.
Livedoor has since boosted its equity stake in Nippon Broadcasting beyond 50 percent.
Horie earlier indicated that Livedoor hoped to exert influence on Fuji TV through Nippon Broadcasting’s stake in the TV broadcaster. Both Fuji TV and NBS are part of the Fujisankei media group.
However, the radio company loaned the bulk of its Fuji TV shares to Softbank Investment Corp., an affiliate of Internet investor Softbank Corp, earlier this month and no longer has any shares of the TV firm.
In Thursday’s interview, Horie hinted that he might hold talks with Softbank Investment President Yoshitaka Kitao after Livedoor representatives join Nippon Broadcasting’s board of directors through the radio company’s general meeting of shareholders in June.
“I won’t meet with Softbank Investment’s Kitao until the June shareholders’ meeting,” he said.
Earlier Thursday, sources said Horie met with Fuji TV President Koichi Murakamai last weekend, after Livedoor tentatively beat Fuji TV to take control of NBS.
The meeting was the first between the two men since Livedoor’s February announcement of its acquisition of a 35 percent stake in Nippon Broadcasting.
The contents of the talks were not known, but Horie is believed to have offered to form an equity alliance with the TV broadcaster. Murakami was apparently reluctant to accept the offer, the sources said.
Horie and Murakami apparently agreed that senior executives of their companies would continue to keep in contact, they added.
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