Softbank has sold a slice of its stake in Yahoo Japan in part to help finance its acquisition of Vodafone Group’s Japan unit, it said Wednesday.
BB Technology, which is a wholly owned unit of Softbank, sold 173,000 shares of Yahoo Japan for 23.3 billion yen (US$199 million), Softbank said in a statement. The shares are equivalent to a 0.6 percent stake in Yahoo Japan and leave the Softbank group holding a 41.3 percent stake in the Japanese Internet portal operator.
The sale helps Yahoo Japan avoid delisting under Tokyo Stock Exchange rules, which place a company on the way to being delisted if the combined stake of major shareholders exceeds 75 percent. With the sale, the combined stake of Softbank and U.S.-based Yahoo is 74.7 percent, Softbank said in a statement.
The proceeds will be used to finance Softbank’s planned 1.8 trillion yen ($15.3 billion) acquisition of Vodafone KK, the Japanese mobile phone operator owned by the United Kingdom’s Vodafone. That deal, which was announced last week, is expected to greatly increase the fusion between the Yahoo Japan portal and cell phones.
-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service
For related coverage, read Softbank to Acquire Vodafone’s Japan Unit.