Japan’s third largest carrier, Softbank, is to acquire fourth-placed carrier eAccess in a share swap deal valued at just under ¥200 billion ($2.6 billion), Reuters is reporting (original story at the Nikkei business daily).
The deal is aimed at acquiring customers and bulking out Softbank’s spectrum frequency holdings to support LTE services, according to the reports.
Softbank, whose charismatic CEO Masayoshi Son is the man with the 300-year business plan, will gain enough customers to put it within touching distance of Japan’s second placed carrier, KDDI. Reuters reports that Softbank and eAccess together had 34.3 million users, as of the end of August — to KDDI’s 35.9 million. First placed carrier, NTTDoCoMo has more than 60 million mobile customers.
Back in August NTTDoCoMo announced that subscribers to its LTE service Xi had passed the five million mark. The service — Japan’s first LTE offering — was launched at the end of 2010.
SoftBank is a Japanese telecommunications and media corporation, headquartered in Tokyo and founded in 1981 by Masayoshi Son. With a market capitalization of around $20 billion, SoftBank is one of the biggest Internet-related companies in Asia. SoftBank operates in various fields such as broadband infrastructure, e-commerce, Internet services, fixed-line telecommunications, mobile phone and web business, financial services and many more. The company took over mobile phone operations from Vodafone Japan in 2006 and is currently No. 3 among the main...