Japanese communications company SoftBank Group Corp is upping its stake in Yahoo Japan via a JPY221 billion (USD2 billion) three-way deal with US-based Altaba, formerly internet giant Yahoo Inc., Reuters reports. The transaction will see Masayoshi Son’s Group acquire the Yahoo Japan shares from Altaba, following which Yahoo Japan will then buy back JPY220 billion-worth of stock from SoftBank, in a move that tightens the Group’s hold on the internet heavyweight ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) of its telecoms unit later this year (see below). On completion of the transaction, SoftBank Group Corp’s stake in Yahoo Japan will increase to 48.17% from 42.95%, by dint of a USD9 million net investment, Reuters notes. Altaba, Yahoo Japan’s second largest shareholder, will have about 27% of the firm in a move that will also bring to an end a joint venture partnership between the pair. The synergies between SoftBank and Yahoo Japan are ‘consistent with SoftBank Group’s broader strategic synergy group initiative,’ Masayoshi Son said in the statement.
In a related development, SoftBank Group Corp said on Monday that its Japanese telecommunications unit, SoftBank Corp, had made a preliminary application to list its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.