SoftBank, in a re-organisation of its operations in Japan, has agreed the sale of eAccess – a mobile and broadband provider – to Yahoo Japan.
Following the acquisition, Yahoo Japan said it plans to use ‘Y!mobile’ as a service brand and focus on internet services for smartphones and tablets.
SoftBank – which owns 42.5 per cent of Yahoo Japan – said it would book a special gain of YPY55.7 million ($540 million) from the deal in its fiscal year ended 31 March 2015. The new eAccess, it added, would become an indirect subsidiary.
Yahoo Japan said it would pay JPY324 billion.
The transaction, however, is dependent on the merger of eAccess and struggling wireless provider Willcom – a wholly-owned Softbank subsidiary – going ahead on 1 June as planned.
Following the merger, SoftBank is expected to hold 99.68 per cent of the new company along with 33.29 per cent of the voting rights. It is these shares (and voting rights) that Yahoo Japan has agreed to purchase.
Willcom, according to figures from GSMA Intelligence, had 5.4 million wireless connections at the end of 2013. eAccess had 4.5 million.
eAccess and SoftBank Mobile already have a “business alliance” involving the reciprocal use of their mobile networks. Yahoo Japan said its acquisition of eAccess will “not have a significant impact” on that arrangement.
At the end of 2013 – again, according to GSMA Intelligence – SoftBank Mobile had 34.8 million connections, making it the third-largest mobile operator in Japan.
NTT Docomo, the largest, had 62.2 million connections followed by KDDI (39.6 million).