Vodafone Sells Japan Divison to Softbank
Vodafone Group has announced that they have decided to sell off their struggling Japanese unit to Softbank Corp, the parent owners of Yahoo Japan. This deal would be worth around $11.87 billion and it would be conducted in a cash transaction.
The agreement was announced earlier today and it puts the value of the Vodafone Japan at around 1.8 trillion yen, which includes debts. The deal would see Vodafone returning close to around 6 billion pounds to shareholders.
Softbank is already the dominating player in the Internet service provider market (aka. Yahoo Broadband) and they recently expressed their interests in expanding their services in the Japan’s $78 billion mobile market.
Integration of Yahoo Mobile services into the Vodafone offerings in Japan should only better the service and Softbank really should not have that much of a problem reviving the Vodafone brand in Japan against competitors like DoCoMo and AU.
Softbank Vodafone’s aim is to become a communications company by providing all kind of services to the Japanese people – makes me wonder where WiFi, Wimax and VOIP will fall into the equation.
One also can’t help but wonder if the convergence which is going on in the search and communications markets, especially with mobile search, will lead to more similar mergers and acquisitions.
Sushubh Mittal is a behind the scenes guy at SEJ and Editor of TechWhack Business & Technology Blogs.