I was unhappy to hear about this.
“From around 7 p.m. last night, my company underwent searches of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office and the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission,” Horie said. “They seized some of our documents. I continued to observe the searches. All of the searches were completed a little while ago.”
The searches were conducted over allegations that a Livedoor affiliate, Livedoor Marketing Co., illegally pushed up its stock price through an announcement in 2004 that it planned to take over a publisher. The affiliate did not mention that Livedoor Co. had already bought the publisher through an investment fund.
Livedoor Marketing’s share prices immediately soared.
As for his possible resignation as Livedoor president, Horie said: “It would be irresponsible for me to say whether I will resign or not now because I have not yet grasped the entire situation. I will make a judgment on the issue after cooperating in the investigation.”
At the end of the news conference, Horie had words for investors in Livedoor: “I apologize to them for causing so much anxiety. But our businesses have no particular problems. I will continue to make efforts to expand my businesses, as I have been doing so far.”
Horie, 33, Miyauchi and Okamoto planned to take over the publishing firm Money Life in 2004. Under the plan, an investment fund controlled by Livedoor reportedly bought all shares in the publisher in June that year.
The three executives agreed to hide the fact that the fund had already bought Money Life and had Livedoor Marketing, whose name was Value Click Japan at the time, announce it would buy Money Life in October 2004, investigative sources said.
In November that year, the three wrongly said that Livedoor Marketing was in the black, although the affiliate hadn’t made any profits at that time, the sources said.
You have to kind of wonder who Mainichi’s “investigative sources” are.
(I mentioned Horie previously here.)