Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc., the target of an unwanted takeover bid by Rakuten Inc., said Tuesday it has asked the Internet mall operator for more information about its intentions.
The 25-page request by TBS comprises 27 questions, including requests for detailed information about the ultimate objective in raising its stake in TBS above 20 percent, its proposal for a business alliance, and negative effects that may result from collaboration between the companies.
The broadcaster did not set a specific deadline for a reply.
Rakuten announced April 19 it would raise its stake in TBS to more than 20 percent and requested TBS put two new members on its board, including Rakuten President Hiroshi Mikitani.
After the announcement, TBS sent a list of questions to Rakuten on April 27 and received a reply earlier this month. However, TBS said the reply fell short.
“We are still not sure what Rakuten is aiming for, or whether Rakuten will try to further raise its equity stake in (TBS) after making us a subsidiary” with its 20 percent stake, TBS Managing Director Kazuo Hiramoto said at a news conference.
At a board meeting Tuesday, TBS adopted plans to oppose Rakuten’s proposal to put two new members on its board and another that would make it harder for TBS shareholders to approve a new set of revised takeover measures.
Rakuten, which was rebuffed by TBS in October 2005, has been in talks with TBS on collaborating to achieve a fusion of broadcasting and Internet services. The talks stalled for more than 17 months before Rakuten made its abrupt proposal to break the stalemate.
Hiramoto said TBS has been negotiating with Rakuten in a sincere manner, but Rakuten’s move has been upsetting and only increased distrust in Rakuten.
“I basically think both of us have different management policies,” Hiramoto said as he explained why the two parties have been unable to strike a deal for more than a year and a half.
Meanwhile, TBS on Tuesday announced brisk earnings for the 2006 business year ended March 31 as advertising revenue climbed on the back of its popular television programs.
TBS said operating profit for the year jumped 54.4 percent from the previous year to 25.3 billion yen on sales of 318.7 billion yen, up 4.1 percent.
But net profit fell 1.6 percent to 13.3 billion yen compared with the previous year, when it posted a one-time 16.9 billion yen gain on the sale of securities.
Fuji TV doubles profit
Fuji Television Network Inc. said Tuesday its group net profit in fiscal 2006 more than doubled from the previous year to 24.85 billion yen as the broadcaster was freed from a huge one-time loss incurred from sales of Livedoor Co. shares in fiscal 2005.
In a consolidated earnings report for the 12-month period to March 31, Fuji TV said its pretax profit dropped 8.6 percent to 46.0 billion yen as revenues fell 1.8 percent to 582.66 billion yen.
Fuji TV said revenues in fiscal 2006 fell short of the previous business year’s record 593.49 billion yen.
The company said it will increase its full-year dividend for fiscal 2006 to 5,000 yen per share from 4,000 yen in fiscal 2005.
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