NBS officially announces it will be Fuji TV subsidiary

Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. told its shareholders Friday it will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Television Network Inc., drawing the curtain on the high-profile battle between Fuji TV and Livedoor Co. for control of NBS.

Fuji TV and Internet portal Livedoor reached an agreement in April in which Fuji TV will buy Livedoor’s entire stake in Nippon Broadcasting.

At the meeting, Nippon Broadcasting appointed new board members, including NBS President Akinobu Kamebuchi, despite opposition from some shareholders who called on the company’s management to take responsibility for the turmoil caused by the battle.

“I still feel sorry for causing anxiety to many shareholders and people concerned,” Kamebuchi said. “We did not do any corporate misdeeds and so we are not ashamed at all.”

Kamebuchi will resign as president, but remain as a board member.

Yoshiaki Murakami, who leads investment fund M&A Consulting Inc., criticized the radio broadcaster’s earlier decision to issue Fuji TV warrants for 47.2 million new shares to ward off Livedoor’s takeover bid.

“The decision to issue Fuji TV warrants for new Nippon Broadcasting shares has many disadvantages to other shareholders,” Murakami said and asked Kamebuchi if he thought it was the wrong decision.

Kamebuchi replied, “Even now, I don’t think that was wrong.”

The warrants were blocked by a court injunction brought on by Livedoor.

The battle to control Nippon Broadcasting dominated the news for about two months. Livedoor became the radio broadcaster’s largest shareholder after pursuing Nippon Broadcasting shares beginning in early February.

On Feb. 8, Livedoor boosted its stake in NBS to 35 percent in terms of outstanding shares by acquiring 29.6 percent in off-hours trading at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, challenging Fuji TV’s public tender offer for NBS shares launched in January.