Yahoo Japan scrubbed plans to buy eAccess, a mobile operator subsidiary of SoftBank, after a “deeper understanding” of the transaction details was apparently reached.
The JPY324 billion ($3.2 billion) acquisition, first announced on 27 March, would have seen SoftBank radically re-structure its operations in Japan.
SoftBank is already a stakeholder in Yahoo Japan (42.6 per cent), and the original intention – following the transaction – was that eAccess should become a fully consolidated subsidiary of Yahoo Japan (and an indirect subsidiary of SoftBank).
The deal, however, was dependent on the merger beforehand of eAccess and struggling wireless provider Willcom – a wholly-owned Softbank subsidiary – going ahead on 1 June.
While that merger is still going ahead – the new entity is to be called Ymobile Corporation – Yahoo Japan backed off from being the parent company.
In a statement, Yahoo Japan said it “came to the conclusion that rather than converting eAccess to a consolidated subsidiary and building an infrastructure of its own it would be better to develop the business by employing the strengths of each company”.
A decision was reached that Yahoo Japan would be responsible for developing services at eAccess – and that eAccess would focus on infrastructure – which is why the deal was called off (eAccess and SoftBank Mobile already have a “business alliance” involving the reciprocal use of their mobile networks).
After the merger between eAccess and Willcom takes place, SoftBank will hold 99.68 per cent of the new entity (and 33.29 per cent of voting rights).
Ymobile and Yahoo Japan, working in “close collaboration”, plan to launch a new service under the Y!mobile brand. Yahoo Japan said it would reveal further details of the service at a later date.