SoftBank's Yahoo Japan in merger talks with Line

Both Line and Yahoo Japan said discussions were underway but nothing had been decided.


Ismawati Asmat

15 Nov, 2019

SoftBank's Yahoo Japan in merger talks with Line | BEAMSTART News

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To create a $27 billion tech giant and to expand e-commerce and payments services, SoftBank’s Yahoo Japan is in talks to merge with messaging app operator Line Corp.

Yahoo Japan last month changed its name to Z Holdings. SoftBank Corp owns almost half of Z Holdings.

A deal is likely by month-end and could see SoftBank Corp and Line’s parent Naver Corp form a 50/50 venture that would control Z Holdings, which would in turn operate Line and Yahoo.

While the two companies combined revenues would exceed rival Rakuten Inc, whose shares fell 6% on the news, their combined transaction value would still be dwarfed by Rakuten.

Meanwhile, Z Holdings have acquired 50.1% of fashion e-tailer Zozo Inc in a $3.7 billion deal announced in September, as it bulks up against rivals such as Amazon.com. The deal leaves Zozo founder and former CEO Yusaku Maezawa as the second-largest shareholder with an 18% stake.

SoftBank is also making a major push into online retailing by launching PayPay Mall, as it tries to grow revenues outside its core telecoms business.

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