Fuji's dance with NBS and its suitors.

Position:WORLD

Japan's Fuji Television Network has offered to purchase more shares of radio broadcaster Nippon Broadcasting System (NBS) and turn it into a subsidiary. The current relationship between the two companies is unusual. Fuji TV owns a 12.4 percent stake in NBS, while Nippon is Fuji's top shareholder with a 22.5 percent stake in the company. That stake was cut down from 32.3 percent last spring, when the value of NBS' shareholding in Fuji TV was larger than the market capitalization of the radio broadcaster itself. This predicament made NBS a hot commodity: acquisition of the company included control of the profitable Fuji TV as well. However, now Fuji TV plans to purchase all the shares it is offered. If the stake is lifted to 50 percent, the deal will cost Fuji 73.3 billion yen (almost U.S.$700 million). If the stake is lifted to 100 percent, Fuji will have to shell out 175 billion yen ($1.65 billion). To finance the large acquisition, Fuji TV will issue 80 billion yen in convertible bonds to Daiwa Securities and will borrow 100 billion yen from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. Fuji TV stressed that this offer will pave the way for the reorganization of its parent company, Fujisankei media...

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