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Softbank invests $1.26 billion in U.S. wireless firm Brightstar

AFP-JIJI

Softbank, which took control of U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel in July, is paying cash in the deal and also will guarantee $600 million (¥58.6 billion) of Brightstar debt, the two companies said in a statement Friday.
The Japanese mobile carrier will take an initial 57 percent shareholding in Brightstar, rising to 70 percent over the next five years.

Brightstar, which generates around $7 billion (¥684 billion) in annual revenues, helps makers of wireless phones and tablets distribute their products via retailers and wireless carriers around the world. It claims a local presence in more than 50 countries, with 90,000 points of sale and links to 200 mobile network operators.

The tieup will make Brightstar the exclusive provider of handsets and accessories to a number of Softbank affiliates, the two companies said.

“SoftBank’s investment in Brightstar solidifies our position as the leading distribution, services, and innovation company in the world for the wireless industry,” said Brightstar founder Marcelo Claure, who will remain company chairman and chief executive after the deal.

Softbank Corp. has announced a $1.26 billion (¥123.2 billion) investment to acquire a majority stake in privately held Brightstar Corp., a U.S.-based specialist distributor of wireless handsets and related services.