Source: Yuri Kageyama / The Huffington Post
TOKYO — Softbank Corp. has reached a deal to buy 70 percent of U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. for $20.1 billion in the largest ever foreign acquisition by a Japanese company.
The agreement, announced Monday at a joint news conference in Tokyo by Softbank President Masayoshi Son and Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse, will bring together the third biggest mobile carriers of both Japan and the U.S., underlining the growth ambitions of Softbank, which has made a series of acquisitions over the last couple of decades.
It also shows how the strong yen, which is usually seen as a negative for export-reliant Japan Inc., has boosted the overseas purchasing power of Japanese corporations as a stagnant domestic market pushes them to look abroad for growth. The Sprint buy pushes Japan’s overseas acquisitions so far this year, including debt of the acquired companies, to over $100 billion, nearly double the same period last year, according to deal tracking company Dealogic.
The deal was given a green light by the boards of both companies. It still needs approval from Sprint shareholders and U.S. regulators. Softbank said the transaction is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.
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