SoftBank Pays $15 Billion For Vodafone's Japanese Unit - InformationWeek

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SoftBank Pays $15 Billion For Vodafone's Japanese Unit

SoftBank, Japan's largest broadband Internet provider, has been setting its sights on Japan's $78 billion mobile market for a while as it moves to offer a combination of broadband, mobile, and Internet services and content.

LONDON — Vodafone has sold its troubled Japanese operation to internet conglomerate SoftBank for Yen 1,800 billion ($15.3 million) but will retain a very small stake. Vodafone snubbed two rival bids for the business, and the company’s besieged CEO Arun Sarin said the deal “is a good outcome for Vodafone”.

SoftBank will own 97.68 per cent of Vodafone K.K. as it enters the mobile telecommunications sector for the first time since receiving a license last year. It said on Friday (March 17) it was considering some other but undisclosed mobile service joint ventures with Vodafone in Japan.

Softbank, Japan's largest broadband Internet provider, has been setting its sights on Japan's $78 billion mobile market for a while as it moves to offer a combination of broadband, mobile and Internet services and content.

One of the other groups stalking Vodafone K.K. was Cerberus, the U.S. hedge fund which made an all-cash offer to Vodafone on Thursday (March 16) with its partner Providence Equity Partners.

The transaction, which is one of the largest acquisitions ever in Japan, is expected to complete early next year.

Vodafone's Japanese subsidiary had been losing customers in the face of fierce competition from domestic operators such as NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.

Vodafone said on Friday that it would return £6 billion ($10.5 billion) to shareholders on completion of the sale.

Vodafone's Japanese subsidiary had been losing customers in the face of fierce competition from domestic operators such as NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.

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