The Murakami Fund has increased its stake in Matsuzakaya Co. to 7.52 percent and remains the largest shareholder in the department store operator, according to a report the investment fund submitted to the Finance Ministry.

The fund, led by former bureaucrat Yoshiaki Murakami, who is known for advocating shareholder rights, held a 5.46 percent stake at the end of December, the report submitted Friday shows. The second-largest shareholder, Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co., owned 5.31 percent as of the end of February.

Murakami has urged Matsuzakaya to increase its corporate value by taking such measures as management and employee buyouts.

The department store operator announced a plan Wednesday to shift to a holding company system to more efficiently supervise its businesses and group firms, apparently in a move to fend off onslaughts from the fund.

The Murakami Fund also raised its stake in electronic parts maker New Japan Radio Co. to 7.31 percent from 5.48 percent, while newly becoming the largest shareholder in GMO Internet Inc., a Net business provider, according to the report that showed its stock transactions

Buying into Livedoor

U.S. investment firm Baupost Group L.L.C. has increased its stake in scandal-tainted Livedoor Co. to 8.19 percent, the Massachusetts-based company said.

Baupost held a 6.72 percent interest in the Internet and financial services firm in mid-March, according to a report to the Finance Ministry.

Livedoor has been facing a management crisis since prosecutors raided the company and arrested its founder and former executives for alleged securities law violations earlier this year.

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