SoftBank to pay $1.26bn for 57per cent stake in Brightstar

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Distributor says investment from Japanese telecoms and internet corporation is the next step in its evolution 

SoftBank is to pay $1.26 billion for a 57 per cent stake in Brightstar in a move the distributor said will enable it to expand its scale and further its position as a leading provider of services for the wireless industry.

Following the transaction, SoftBank’s ownership of Brightstar will increase to 70 per cent over the next five years. Marcelo Claure (pictured), who will continue as president and CEO of Brightstar, will own the remaining 43 per cent of remaining shares in the distributor. Brightstar’s global headquarters will also remain in Miami, Florida.

The transaction will see Buying & Innovation Group, ‘BIG’ a joint venture set up to realise the savings and efficiencies for SoftBank, Sprint and Brightstar, become a division of the latter. SoftBank currently owns 80 per cent of US mobile operator Sprint.

Brightstar said the deal will see it buy over $20 billion in handsets, accessories and services, making it one of the leading buyers of mobile devices and accessories in the world.

It added both companies will leverage Brightstar’s presence in over 50 countries to commercialise products and services offered by SoftBank, its affiliates, and its investment companies, reaching more than 90,000 points of sale, 200 mobile network operators, 40,000 retailers and 15,000 enterprises.

Claure said: “SoftBank’s investment in Brightstar solidifies our position as the leading distribution, services, and innovation company in the world for the wireless industry. Our alliance with SoftBank provides additional products and services to Brightstar’s already best-in-class services allowing us to better serve our customers in more than 125 countries where we do business.”

SoftBank founder, chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son added: “SoftBank has a proven track-record of investing in companies that are leading innovation in their respective industries. Brightstar has been a model of innovation, transforming from a regional wireless distributor into the world’s leading provider of services to the wireless industry and we are excited about what that will mean for the SoftBank Group.”

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