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Livedoor ends final trading day at 94 yen ahead of delisting+
[April 13, 2006]

Livedoor ends final trading day at 94 yen ahead of delisting+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)TOKYO, April 13_(Kyodo) _ Livedoor Co., the once high-flying Internet company, ended its final trading day on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday 7 yen lower at 94 yen ahead of its delisting Friday over alleged accounting fraud.

The Livedoor stock fetched some 700 yen earlier this year but has tumbled since prosecutors launched an investigation of the firm on Jan. 6. Its market capitalization, which topped 800 billion yen in December, plunged to about 98 billion yen, based on Thursday's closing price.

Livedoor will end its history as a listed firm only six years after making a debut on the TSE's Mothers market for start-ups as Livin' on the Edge Inc.

Thursday was also the last trading day for Livedoor arm Livedoor Marketing Co., which also allegedly cooked its books.

Livedoor Marketing, also listed on the TSE's Mothers market, ended the day at 310 yen, up 34 yen from Wednesday, ahead of its delisting Friday.

After going public in April 2000, Livedoor, which took the current name in February 2004, grew rapidly through active equity swaps and share splitting.

But the company has fallen into financial difficulties, hit hard by the accounting fraud scandal.

The delisting is expected to deal a further blow to the company by making fundraising difficult.

Livedoor may be asked to pay a huge amount of money in damages for losses caused by its share price plunge, both by individual investors as well as Fuji Television Network Inc., once a major stakeholder.

The key to whether Livedoor can overcome the scandal and go public again lies in the prospects of a tie-up with Japan's biggest cable broadcaster, Usen Corp., which was announced in mid-March, analysts said.

The Tokyo bourse decided last month to delist Livedoor as the company is suspected of disclosing inflated group financial figures in the business year through September 2004.

The delisting decision was made after the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission filed a fresh criminal complaint against Livedoor as well as former President Takafumi Horie and four others over alleged securities law violations.

Livedoor has been charged with reporting a consolidated pretax profit of 5.03 billion yen for the year to September 2004, although it actually incurred a pretax loss of 312.78 million yen.

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