SoftBank Group ADR(SFTBY)- OTCPK - Current
  • Wed, Aug. 17, 1:32 PM
    • Detailing its report on new merger chatter around Sprint (S -1.5%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +0.5%), Bloomberg notes that Masayoshi Son -- the mogul at the head of SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -2.3%) who abandoned a merger bid before -- will likely try the combination again if he thinks a new head of the FCC is amenable.
    • That agency head holds key power, with the threat of putting such a proposed deal into an administrative hearing, which would postpone action indefinitely. A similar threat caused Comcast to drop its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable. Son has indicated he would legally challenge any Justice Dept. opposition.
    • Shares of Sprint and T-Mobile made positive moves of 3% and 2.5% respectively in the span of a few minutes before pulling back.
    • Son could pursue the argument that Sprint will never be a legitimate fourth competitor in the market alone, but that may not fly, says Public Knowledge's Gene Kimmelman. “You would need to see a pretty significant reversal of fortunes across both companies -- Sprint and T-Mobile -- for the antitrust enforcers to change their views ... You’d have to see a clear demonstration of a company in jeopardy.”
    • A Trump administration, though, could mean "a whole new ball game" with companies like Sprint rolling the dice, Kimmelman says.
    • “The rule of thumb is that Democratic administrations will allow an industry to consolidate down to four players, and Republicans will let an industry go down to three,” says analyst Roger Entner. “Masa has to hope that the next president’s name is Donald."
    • Talks between the two companies are forbidden as of now, with the FCC's broadcast incentive spectrum auction going on (and looking more likely to run into 2017).
    | Wed, Aug. 17, 1:32 PM | 20 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 17, 12:44 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S), down nearly 3% on the day, made a midday spike back to the flat line on yet another resurgence of merger rumors -- though, just like that, the spike is gone and Sprint is off 1.8% again.
    • Bloomberg is saying that Masayoshi Son of Sprint owner SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) is still "holding out hope" to combine Sprint with T-Mobile (TMUS -0.2%) -- which also spiked into positive ground before an immediate pullback.
    • Conventional wisdom has it that the previous outbreaks of Sprint/T-Mobile rumors were put to rest with no possibility of a combination at least until a new U.S. presidential administration.
    | Wed, Aug. 17, 12:44 PM | 27 Comments
  • Mon, Jul. 18, 2:09 AM
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has acquired chip designer ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) for £24.3B ($32B), as the Japanese telecoms giant bolsters its presence in the growing Internet of Things sector.
    • The deal will see SoftBank pay £17 in cash for each share in ARM, a 43% premium to its closing price last week, marking the largest ever purchase of a European technology company.
    • ARMH +43.6% premarket
    | Mon, Jul. 18, 2:09 AM | 36 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 5, 8:27 AM
    • Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) is in talks with potential investors including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, China Investment and Hillhouse Capital to participate in its $8.6B acquisition of Supercell from SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY).
    • According to a document viewed by the WSJ, potential participants in the consortium expect that an investment in Supercell could bring an average annual return of 36% in the next four years.
    | Tue, Jul. 5, 8:27 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Jun. 21, 3:50 AM
    • Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) has reached an agreement to buy Supercell Oy, the maker of the popular "Clash of Clans," in a deal that could turn the Chinese internet major into a global video game powerhouse.
    • According to WSJ sources, details of the deal will be announced later today. It was previously reported that Tencent had been in talks with SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) to buy the company's majority stake in Supercell at a $9B valuation.
    • Update: Tencent and its partners will pay $8.6B to buy Softbank's (OTCPK:SFTBY) 84.3% stake in Supercell Oy.
    | Tue, Jun. 21, 3:50 AM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 15, 1:03 PM
    • Chinese messaging/gaming leader Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) is close to a deal to buy SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF) controlling stake in Finnish mobile game developer Supercell at a ~$9B valuation, sources tell the WSJ.
    • The paper, which first reported of Tencent's interest in Supercell last month, adds Tencent is talking with "several financial investors" to join the deal as co-investors. SoftBank had a 73% stake in Supercell as of last year. Supercell, responsible for Clash of Clans and other hits, was reportedly valued at $5.25B in 2015.
    • The report comes as Tencent cautions its rapid ad sales growth (+73% Y/Y in Q1) is about to slow down.
    | Wed, Jun. 15, 1:03 PM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 15, 8:53 AM
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) expects to book profit of ¥200-250B ($1.9-$2.4B) this financial year from the sale of shares in Alibaba.
    • The sale would be a first for SoftBank since the Japanese firm's initial Alibaba investment in 2000.
    • The two companies will maintain their strategic partnership.
    | Wed, Jun. 15, 8:53 AM
  • Mon, May 23, 11:10 AM
    • Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY +0.5%) is in early-stage talks to take over SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBY +1.9%) majority position in Finnish mobile-game maker Supercell, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • Supercell makes popular combat simulator Clash of Clans, and SoftBank took majority control with a $1.53B investment in 2013, before growing its stake last year to 73%.
    • Also last year, Alibaba (of which SoftBank is the biggest shareholder) teamed up with China's Giant Interactive Group to talk about taking control of Supercell, though price has hung up those discussions. And Supercell is said to prefer having autonomy under SoftBank's umbrella.
    • Sources say that Supercell was valued about $5.25B last year. Its most recent game, Clash Royale, was the top-grossing mobile game for March with more than $80M.
    • Now read Tencent: Like Buying Facebook At A Bargain »
    | Mon, May 23, 11:10 AM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, May 12, 11:35 PM
    • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) have teamed up on a joint venture -- SB Cloud Corp. -- to launch cloud computing services in Japan.
    • The venture will use technologies and solutions from the Alibaba Cloud unit and open a new data center in Japan. Alibaba's cloud experience will combine with an extensive customer base at SoftBank.
    • The two will offer services ranging from data storage and processing to enterprise middleware and security service.
    • SoftBank is Alibaba's largest shareholder; it will have a 60% stake in the venture, with Alibaba holding the rest.
    • SoftBank shares are down 2.4% in Tokyo at midday.
    • Now read The Gaps In Chanos' Short Position In Alibaba »
    | Thu, May 12, 11:35 PM | 9 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 22, 7:14 PM
    • Yahoo (YHOO -0.5%) and advisers are set to spend the weekend narrowing down more than 10 first-round bids for its core business, ranging from $4B-$8B, Bloomberg reports -- with an eye to moving forward as soon as next week.
    • They'll aim for about seven finalists and plan to offer them increased access to internal docs and management.
    • The higher-end bids reportedly came from bidders who haven't spent as much time with Yahoo, which should lead to more scrutiny into the structure of the offers.
    • In addition to the known bidders (that hadn't denied reports) -- Verizon (VZ +1%), YP Holdings, TPG, and Bain/Vista Equity Partners -- one or two other strategic firms were involved.
    • Echoing earlier reports, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY +3.4%) isn't in the bidding but is likely eager to talk with anyone who also wants the Yahoo Japan stake.
    • Despite the progress, a final decision is likely at least a month away.
    • Now read Yahoo Sale Could Reboot Online Ad Competition »
    | Fri, Apr. 22, 7:14 PM | 71 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 20, 10:59 AM
    • With Yahoo's (YHOO +3%) first-round bid shortlist out, where was Daily Mail & General Trust (OTCPK:DMTGY)? The operators of the world's most-visited English-language website were a prominent late arrival to the Yahoo bidding scene, but took a back seat (joined by IAC, Comcast and Time Inc.) to Verizon, YP, Rakuten and private equity.
    • Daily Mail now says it didn't put a bid in with Yahoo by Monday's deadline, but it is in talks with parties interested in Yahoo. The publisher is up 0.6% in London.
    • Yahoo's process may become a full-fledged saga for 2016. Not only is the existing sale process quite likely to run into June, but secondary interest in the resulting asset mix from the likes of Alibaba (BABA +0.7%), SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -0.1%) and Daily Mail could mean even more transfers of businesses ahead.
    • Alibaba had a strong (if less dramatic) case to become a dark horse, since it may have been able to pull off the functional equivalent of a highly tax-advantaged buyback.
    • Now read Yahoo: Who's Ready To Take On A Legacy Digital-Native Media Turnaround? »
    | Wed, Apr. 20, 10:59 AM | 15 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 19, 8:39 PM
    • Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) didn't say anything about its sales process during its Q1 earnings webcast, and swore off giving any updates along the way.
    • But speculation about the shortlist is mostly on the mark, according to the latest from Reuters, which says Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) there (with help from Guggenheim, LionTree, Allen & Co.), along with Yellow Pages owner YP -- which has backing from AT&T (NYSE:T) on the bid, sources said.
    • Japanese online retailer Rakuten (OTCPK:RKUNY) is a new name that's kicking tires as well. Among private equity, Apax Partners, TPG, Bain Capital, Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) and Warburg Pincus are all accounted for, and may be allowed to team up in round 2.
    • No two offers were identical, sources said, so Yahoo now must look at the structures, assets and offers to sort out value -- hopefully in time to wrap up in June.
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) aren't taking part -- but they could get involved with the company after the fate of its core assets is settled.
    • YHOO wrapped an after-hours session up 1.1%.
    • Now read Yahoo: Who's Ready To Take On A Legacy Digital-Native Media Turnaround? »
    | Tue, Apr. 19, 8:39 PM | 32 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 23, 2:42 PM
    • After several months of overtures, Warner Bros. (TWX +1%) is acquiring Korean streaming-video provider DramaFever from SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY +0.6%), which paid $100M for the service in late 2014.
    • “This is a great fit for Warner Bros.,” says Warner's Craig Hunegs, who says DramaFever “will move quickly with our own distribution and creative teams to create and build more OTT services.”
    • Terms weren't disclosed, and the deal's expected to close in Q2. DramaFever co-founders Seung Bak and Suk Park are sticking around to run things, and the company will operate under its own brand and remain in New York.
    • Previously: Warner Bros. bidding for control of SoftBank's DramaFever (Jul. 17 2015)
    | Tue, Feb. 23, 2:42 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Jan. 12, 9:19 AM
    • Wang Jianlin -- China's richest man -- and his Dalian Wanda Group have bought U.S. studio Legendary Entertainment for $3.5B, becoming the first Chinese company to own a major Hollywood studio.
    • In turn, Wang says he'll package Legendary (producer of tentpole hits including Jurassic World, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Man of Steel) with existing production assets in China and float the operation in an IPO there.
    • "Wanda Cinema already has made tremendous development in China, but it isn't enough," said Wang at a news conference. "Movies are global, and our company certainly wants to add our voice to the world film market."
    • The company had already become the world's biggest movie theater operator after buying AMC Entertainment in 2012 for $2.6B.
    • Wanda's deal meant buying out the stakes of non-management investors, including SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY), which last fall agreed to pay $250M for 10% of the studio, with a right to invest an additional $750M.
    • Founder/CEO Thomas Tull will continue to run daily operations "the way we always have." Wang dismissed the idea that pictures would now be censored or altered: "I'm a businessman ... I buy things to make money, so I don't really think about government priorities. My main consideration is commercial interest."
    • Previously: Reuters: China's Wanda buying control of Legendary Entertainment (Jan. 04 2016)
    | Tue, Jan. 12, 9:19 AM
  • Mon, Jan. 4, 9:05 PM
    • China's Dalian Wanda Group has sealed a deal to take a majority stake in U.S. movie studio Legendary Entertainment that values the company at $3B-$4B, Reuters reports.
    • The move means that other Legendary investors, particularly including SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) as well as Waddell & Reed, are selling their stakes.
    • Wanda will control a bit more than half of Legendary, known for producing tentpole movie hits including hero films Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Man of Steel as well as 2015's No. 2 movie, Jurassic World. The rest of Legendary will be held by management, including founder/CEO Thomas Tull.
    • Wanda is the top shareholder in China's biggest theater chain, Wanda Cinema Line, and it acquired North America's No. 2 chain, AMC Entertainment, in 2012. Meanwhile, Legendary already has an agreement with China Film Co., the country's biggest film company, to co-produce films.
    • Last fall, SoftBank agreed to pay $250M for nearly 10% of Legendary, with a right to invest an additional $750M over several years.
    | Mon, Jan. 4, 9:05 PM | 3 Comments
  • Jul. 17, 2015, 1:50 PM
    • Warner Bros. (TWX -2%) is reportedly again competing to bid for DramaFever, an online video distributor of South Korean soap operas that SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) paid $100M for in October.
    • Warner was among the bidders that were part of the fall sale, and acquiring control of DramaFever could speed up its own over-the-top service plans. SoftBank plans to keep a significant minority stake in the service.
    • The site -- which provides South Korea's soap operas with subtitles for a largely U.S. audience -- operates with a Hulu-like model, and like Hulu has recently been focusing on its subscription side.
    • During SoftBank's ownership, traffic to the site has tumbled nearly by half, to May's 1.18M unique visitors, though that measure doesn't count streamers such as Rokus or Apple TVs, and only accounts for some mobile viewing.
    | Jul. 17, 2015, 1:50 PM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Sector: Technology
Industry: Information Technology Services
Country: Japan