Nov 18, 2019

SoftBank-controlled Yahoo Japan agrees to merge with Line Corp.

Yahoo Japan and Line Corp. representatives hold a joint press conference, Nov. 18. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Yahoo Japan, which is controlled by SoftBank, agreed to merge with Japanese messaging app operator Line Corp., which is controlled by Naver Corp. The combined company would be worth around $30 billion.

Why it matters: This will create Japan's largest internet services company by revenue and gives it scale to better compete against Chinese rivals in Southeast Asia.

  • SoftBank and Naver will form a 50/50 joint venture that will own Yahoo Japan. The JV then will launch a tender offer for Line's remaining shares at around a $12 billion valuation and 14.4% premium to where Line traded before the first reports of a possible deal.

The bottom line: "Analysts have often called for the two groups to combine, saying a deal would give Line and Yahoo Japan access to a bigger pool of data and stronger negotiating power with its advertisers. It also strengthens Yahoo Japan’s presence in the mobile space by giving it access to Line’s 164m monthly active users in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia," writes the FT's Kana Inagaki.

Go deeper: SoftBank chairman Masa Son admits poor judgment over WeWork

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SoftBank bails on $300 million investment in dog-sitting company Wag

SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son on Nov. 6. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images

SoftBank Vision Fund is bailing on Wag, the dog-walking and dog-sitting company in which it invested $300 million in early 2018.

What's happening: SVF will sell its shares back to the company for an undisclosed amount, and give up its board seat.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

Charles Schwab in talks to buy TD Ameritrade

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Charles Schwab is in talks to buy TD Ameritrade, according to multiple media reports this morning.

Why it matters: This would create a discount brokerage behemoth with over $5 trillion in assets under management.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019

SoftBank's fixers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Each day at WeWork HQ, there are two different groups of staffers: Company employees, and a team of on-site fixers from SoftBank Group. It's the same thing at vehicle leasing company Fair, in which SoftBank Vision Fund is the largest outside investor.

The big question: Who are these people, and where did they come from?

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019