Livedoor shareholder to sue firm

One of Livedoor’s main investors is to sue the scandal-hit Japanese firm for compensation, saying it bought its stake under false pretences.

Broadcaster Fuji Television Network said it acquired the 12.5% stake on the basis of false financial information.

Five Livedoor executives, including former boss Takafumi Horie, have been charged with falsifying financial reports at the once-heralded business.

Fuji is now selling its Livedoor stake, severing its links with the firm.

It is selling the shares to rival broadcaster Usen Corp for 9.5bn yen ($81m; £46m), much less than the $374m it paid for its stake last year.

It also plans to sue Livedoor for about $293m in damages, claiming it had been misled into paying more for the shares than they were worth.

“We will act in a strict manner on this case in court,” said Hishashi Hieda, Fuji TV’s chairman.

Livedoor shares, which are being delisted by the Tokyo Stock Exchange, have fallen 90% since the start of the year.

Fuji TV confirmed the sale on Thursday, saying it hoped the deal “would help revive Livedoor”.

Fuji TV was a reluctant partner of Livedoor, as the share deal came about only after Mr Horie failed to buy a Fuji subsidiary last year.

Mr Horie, who denies the charges, has been in custody since January and has been refused bail.

Mr Horie, who remains Livedoor’s largest shareholder, and other executives have been charged with inflating profits at the internet firm and spreading false financial information about a transaction in 2004.

They have denied any wrongdoing.

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