Q42In October 2006, Japan Telecom changed its name to Soft bank Telecom, and Vodafone Japan became Softbank Mobile Corp. a Have there been any hostile takeover bids in Japan recently, involving acquisitions made without the agreement of the target company's management?

A42 Yes. In 2005, the acquisition by the Internet company Live-door Co. Ltd. of shares in Nippon Broadcasting Systems, Inc. (NBS) created a sensation. Fuji Television Network Inc. started acquiring the public stock of NBS with the aim of restructuring its holdings to correct a situation that had arisen when the parent company, NBS, had a smaller asset value than its own. This anomaly was dubbed a twist of capital. After it started buying shares, Livedoor suddenly announced that it owned 35% of NBS's common stock and declared that it wanted to participate in the company's management.

This created competition for NBS shares, and led to the use of new foreign loan words in vernacular newspapers and on TV-including "poison pill," "white knight" and "scorched earth"-related to acquisitions. The blocking of the attempted acquisition and the filing of a suit to prohibit the takeover bid led to the companies agreeing that Fuji Television would acquire all Livedoor's shares in NBS, purchase newly issued stock in Livedoor, and settle the matter with a total payment to Livedoor of 147 billion yen. However, in January 2006, the special investigations department of the Tokyo Public Prosecutor's Office simultaneously arrested then-president of Livedoor, Takafumi Horie, and other executives under suspicion of having broken securities laws. Livedoor's shares plummeted and Fuji sold its shares in the company to Usen Corp., at a loss of 34.5 billion yen.