SoftBank gained a majority stake in Brightstar. The transaction was for $1.26 billion and lent SoftBank a majority stake of 57% in the wireless company.
Brightstar had until now handled the trade-in and buyback projects for SoftBank. But now SoftBank has acquired a 57% chunk of the wireless distributor for a whopping $1.26 billion. This move made sense, since now SoftBank could beef up its wireless assets such as Sprint. Sprint was bought earlier for $21.6 billion.
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Like Yahoo under Marissa Mayer, SoftBank too has been adding to its already burgeoning shopping list. It purchased the Finnish Supercell for $1.5 billion. Meanwhile, Brightstar is taking an order of handsets worth up to $20 billion for SoftBank. Brightstar has progressed over the past dozen years or so into a conglomerate that has branches in over 50 countries worldwide. In other words it went from local to global with rapid speed.
As a paragon of creativity, Brightstar holds great significance for SoftBank. It is a valuable asset indeed. Currently, the CEO of Brightstar owns 43% of its shares. Within half a decade, SoftBank will own in excess of 70% of the shares. By then the SoftBank chairman will head Brightstar while its by-then former CEO will be Vice Chairman.
SoftBank is a Japanese venture. And like it is with all Japanese business organizations, its owners have the acumen and savvy to do some shrewd and tough bargaining. They have gained a decided advantage with Brightstar on their side. From now on their stability has been strengthened even more so than before.