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  • Fuji TV Uses Special Purpose Co. to Raise Funds
  • December 21, 1998 (TOKYO) -- BS Fuji Inc., a fledging broadcasting company that uses a broadcast satellite, said it will set up a special purpose company to raise funds.
    The firm, jointly owned by Fuji Television Network Inc., Kansai Telecasting Corp., Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd. and other companies, announced this Dec. 14 at the shareholders' meeting held to establish the company.

    In Japan, digital broadcasting using broadcast satellites will begin at the end of the year 2000. BS broadcasting companies anticipate that they will run massive losses during the first several years, and that some firms may have accumulated losses greater than their capital.

    To deal with this situation, BS Fuji has come up with a plan to raise 5-10 billion yen (US$43-86 million) through issuance of convertible bonds by taking advantage of creditworthiness of Fuji TV.

    According to BS Fuji's plan, the special purpose company, fully owned by Fuji TV, will be established and will purchase all convertible bonds to be issued by BS Fuji. Then, the special purpose company will issue bonds convertible into Fuji TV share to collect funds from investors.

    The special purpose company will be established on the British Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea, which is known as a tax heaven. "We are apparently the first Japanese company to take such a fund-raising method," said BS Fuji President Bunzo Shirakawa.

    BS Fuji said it aims to go public as soon as possible. It also said the use of an SPC in a foreign country will make possible forcible conversion of corporate bonds into stocks, and will make it easier for the firm to achieve the listing requirements, such as redemption of corporate bonds and conversion of corporate bonds into stocks.

    According to BS Fuji, the firm is capitalized at 6,250 million yen (US$54 million) in the initial stage, and capital will be boosted to 25 billion yen before the digital BS broadcasting begins.

    Its major shareholders are Fuji TV, holding 20.3 percent of total shares; Kansai Telecasting, 10 percent; Tokai Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd., 5 percent; Sankei Shimbun, 9.5 percent; Dentsu Inc., 5 percent; and Toho Co., Ltd., 5 percent. The combined shares held by the Fuji-Sankei group companies account for 55.6 percent of the total shares.

    While preparing for establishment of the company, BS Fuji called itself FNS Space Star, but changed the name to BS Fuji when it became a company.

    (Nikkei New Media)

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    Updated: Sun Dec 20 17:17:52 1998 PDT