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Softbank's Yahoo Japan, chat app Line announce October 2020 merger plan

The companies aim for a definitive agreement by next month

Sam Nussey | Reuters  |  Tokyo 

(Photo: https://line.me/en/)
(Photo: https://line.me/en/)

Japanese telco Corp announced on Monday plans to merge its internet unit Yahoo Japan with messaging app operator Line Corp, as it scoops up struggling internet to bulk up against rivals such as Rakuten.

said in a statement that Yahoo Japan, which last month changed its name to Z Holdings, will merge with Line, owned by South Korea's Naver Corp, in a deal to be completed by October 2020.

The aim for a definitive agreement by next month in a transaction that will see Corp and Naver form a 50:50 venture that will control Z Holdings, which will in turn operate Line and Yahoo.

SoftBank Corp is a unit of investment behemoth SoftBank Group Corp.

SoftBank Corp and Naver, which owns 73 per cent of money-losing Line, plan to launch a tender offer for Line's remaining shares at 5,200 yen per share, a 13.4 per cent premium to the share price before news of the merger broke. Line's shares were up 2.6 per cent at 5,180 yen in early trading on Monday.

Z Holdings will continue to be a consolidated subsidiary of SoftBank.

First Published: Mon, November 18 2019. 08:25 IST
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