SoftBank Hires Nomura and Goldman on Yahoo Japan Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Nomura Holdings Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are advising Masayoshi Son’s businesses on their deal to shift ownership of Yahoo Japan Corp. within his SoftBank empire, people with knowledge of the matter said.

SoftBank Corp. hired Nomura to advise on the transaction, which will make the mobile operator the largest shareholder in Yahoo Japan, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Goldman Sachs is working with parent SoftBank Group Corp. on the sale of its stake in Japan’s most-visited web portal, the people said.

The transaction announced Wednesday has two main parts: SoftBank Group will sell its 36% holding to Yahoo Japan through a tender offer at a discount price, and the shares will then be canceled. Yahoo Japan will separately issue new shares that SoftBank Corp. will buy for about 456 billion yen ($4.1 billion) to increase its stake to about 45%.

Shares in both Yahoo Japan and SoftBank Corp. surged after the deal, which is aimed at allowing the affiliates in Son’s group to collaborate more closely.

Representatives of SoftBank Group and its wireless unit declined to comment, as did Nomura and Goldman Sachs.

Working with SoftBank is providing a welcome boost for Nomura, which posted its first annual loss in a decade in the year ended March. Japan’s biggest securities firm was the lead underwriter for SoftBank Group’s 500 billion yen bond sale to Japanese individuals in April, and helped oversee the mobile unit’s initial public offering last December.

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