Livedoor Co. on Friday asked Fuji Television Network Inc. to support its efforts to recover during the two firms’ first executive-level talks since prosecutors raided Livedoor’s offices on Jan. 16 over alleged Securities and Exchange Law violations, Fuji TV President Koichi Murakami said.
Murakami told reporters that Kozo Hiramatsu, who replaced Takafumi Horie as Livedoor president Tuesday, visited the broadcaster’s head office in the afternoon and met with him and Fuji TV Chairman Hisashi Hieda.
Fuji TV is Livedoor’s second-largest shareholder.
Hiramatsu apologized for the trouble Livedoor has caused since the raid and for the arrests Monday of Horie and three other executives, according to Murakami.
Hiramatsu was also quoted as saying it was “unthinkable” for Horie or the other arrested executives, including former Chief Financial Officer Ryoji Miyauchi, to return to Livedoor.
The broadcaster, for its part, urged the new Livedoor management to disclose detailed financial figures, Murakami said.
Prosecutors allege the Livedoor group disclosed false information on a corporate takeover and manipulated earnings figures in violation of securities laws. They arrested the four executives Monday.
Hiramatsu, who spent most of his early career at Sony Corp., asked for a meeting with Fuji TV executives after assuming the top post at the Internet services firm.
Fuji TV and Livedoor ended a two-month battle for control of Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. in April 2005, agreeing to talks on a business alliance over what they termed a fusion of Internet and broadcasting services.
Under the accord, Fuji TV purchased a 12.75 percent equity stake in Livedoor for 44 billion yen to become its second-biggest shareholder, after Horie.
On the future of Fuji TV’s alliance with Livedoor, Murakami said, “There are many possibilities,” indicating the broadcaster may boost its investment in the company or buy it outright.
But Murakami said the broadcaster might still pull its capital out of Livedoor, depending on the results of its examination of the firm’s financial standing.
Fuji TV and Nippon Broadcasting belong to the Fujisankei Communications Group, one of Japan’s biggest media conglomerates, and Livedoor last year tried to gain influence over Fuji TV’s management through an attempted takeover of the affiliated radio broadcaster.
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