Japan's Rakuten Ratchets-Up Pressure on TBS

24 November 2005

Japanese internet shopping mall giant Rakuten has lost patience with the traditional polite approach in its pursuit of TV company, Tokyo Broadcasting System.

After several weeks spent building a 19% stake in TBS and urging its management to co-operate with Rakuten's vision of a multimedia empire, the latter now threatens a hostile takeover.

But TBS continues to rebuff the online shopping firm's alliance proposals and is expected to reject its demands for integration within a new, jointly-held company.

This could trigger an attempt by Rakuten to increase its shareholding to one-third of TBS, with which it could propose nomination of its officials to the board. It would also ask shareholders to support its integration strategy.

Meantime, TBS has lined up a 'poison pill' defence against Rakuten's predations which will dilute share values and increase takeover costs.

It now awaits its unwelcome suitor's next move.

Data sourced from Asahi Shimbun Online; additional content by WARC staff