Softbank to sell eAccess stake

14 January 2013 |


Japan’s Softbank is in the final stages of talks to sell a 67% stake in mobile operator eAccess to Samsung Electronics and 10 others, according to the Nikkei.

Softbank acquired eAccess in October in a share swap deal valued at $2.6 billion and announced a deal to acquire a 70% stake in US carrier Sprint Nextel that same month.

Other likely buyers for eAccess include LM Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Orix Corp and five Japanese leasing companies, according to the publication.

The deal is part of a plan to allow Softbank to overcome the Japanese Communication Ministry’s policy on spectrum allocation, under which either a parent company or one of its unit in which it owns more than 33% can apply for spectrum.

Chinese companies have been prevented from buying any eAccess shares to prevent an impact on Softbank’s American operations.
Should the sale take place Softbank will remain the number one shareholder in eAccess but lose veto-power.

The Nikkei reports that the deal will close by the end of January.