Brightstar on the block as SoftBank sheds more assets - Mobile World Live

Brightstar on the block as SoftBank sheds more assets

18 SEP 2020

SoftBank Group announced plans to sell its device distribution arm Brightstar for an undisclosed sum, as the company continues a recent push to divest its telecoms assets.

In a statement, SoftBank said Brightstar would be sold to a newly formed subsidiary of private equity company Brightstar Capital Partners for cash. But it won’t cut ties completely, arranging to take a 25 per cent stake in the new unit.

SoftBank acquired a majority stake in Brightstar in 2013 for $1.26 billion.

Brightstar Capital Partners previously had no affiliation with Brightstar, added SoftBank.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the Japanese company’s fiscal year ending 31 March 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

Brightstar was founded in 1997 by Marcelo Claure, now SoftBank’s COO and former CEO of US operator Sprint, where he oversaw its merger with T-Mobile US.

SoftBank subsequently planned an exit from the merged business, one of a number of recent moves to help tackle massive debt and overturn an annual loss in its last fiscal year.

Earlier this week, the Japanese conglomerate announced a $40 billion deal to sell chip designer Arm to Nvidia, while in August it outlined plans to sell another portion of its domestic mobile business, seeking to raise $12.6 billion.

Claure commented: “I am incredibly proud of what Brightstar has accomplished over the years and excited for its future.”

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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