Japan web will fight takeovers

Gov looking to limit investor's stake

Japan’s Tokyo Broadcasting Systems web plans to set up a holding company to take advantage of a new law to help companies fight hostile takeovers, expected to go into effect early 2007.

This follows last year’s bruising takeover battles between TBS and Internet shopping site Rakuten, and Fuji TV and Internet start up Livedoor.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is mulling revising the broadcasting law to limit a corporate investor’s stake in a holding company to less than 20%.

TBS is the first to announce that it will use that law to transfer its shares to a holding company and list it on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in its place.

In October TBS fought off a hostile takeover by Rakuten, which had upped its share in TBS to 19%. The two companies agreed to alliance talks in December.

Meanwhile, Fuji was forced to buy 134 million Livedoor shares in 2005 for $382 million to end Livedoor’s hostile takeover bid.

In March, following revelations of securities law violations by Livedoor execs, including maverick businessman Takafumi Horie, Fuji sold the shares for $82.6 million.

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