SoftBank invests $1.26 billion for a 57% share of Brightstar Corp. Brightstar becomes the leading distribution, services and innovation company to the telecommunications industry

MIAMI, Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Brightstar Corp. ("Brightstar") and SOFTBANK CORP. ("SoftBank") (TSE: 9984) today announced a definitive agreement for SoftBank to invest $1.26 billion in Brightstar, enabling Brightstar to expand its scale, and further its position as a leading provider of services for the wireless industry.

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As part of the transaction, the Buying & Innovation Group, "BIG," a joint venture created to realize savings and efficiencies for SoftBank, Sprint, and Brightstar, will become a division of Brightstar.

SoftBank has investments in over 1300 entities across the world in many industries, and chose Brightstar for its leading position in the wireless ecosystem. SoftBank's investment, which values Brightstar at $2.2 billion, including its existing outstanding debt, is the next step in Brightstar's evolution. The transaction will have benefits for both companies, including:

  • Brightstar will become the exclusive provider of handsets, accessories, and services to certain SoftBank telecommunications affiliates
  • Brightstar, leveraging certain SoftBank telecommunications affiliates, will buy over $20 billion in handsets, accessories, and services making it one of the leading buyers of mobile devices and accessories in the world
  • Both companies will leverage Brightstar's local presence in over 50 countries to commercialize products and services offered by SoftBank, its affiliates, and its investment companies reaching more than 90,000 points of sale worldwide, more than 200 mobile network operators, 40,000 retailers, and 15,000 enterprises
  • Brightstar will have a preferential right to provide services including distribution, supply chain, handset insurance, buy-back & trade-in, multi-channel retail, and financial services to certain SoftBank telecommunications affiliates

"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, Chairman and CEO, Marcelo Claure. "Our alliance with SoftBank provides additional products and services to Brightstar's already best-in-class services allowing us to better serve our customers in more than 125 countries where we do business."

"SoftBank has a proven track-record of investing in companies that are leading innovation in their respective industries," said Masayoshi Son, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of SoftBank Group. "Brightstar has been a model of innovation, transforming from a regional wireless distributor into the world's leading provider of services to the wireless industry and we are excited about what that will mean for the SoftBank Group."

Today, Brightstar has a local presence in over 50 countries, earning revenues in excess of $7 billion and EBITDA of approximately $260 million for the 12 months ending June 2013.

SoftBank is financing the transaction with cash on hand. In addition to its $1.26 billion cash investment, and as part of a liability management exercise, SoftBank intends to guarantee Brightstar's outstanding $350 million senior unsecured notes due 2016 and $250 million senior unsecured notes due 2018.

After the transaction:

  • Brightstar will continue its focus on providing best-in-class service for its customers
  • Brightstar's global headquarters will remain in Miami, Florida
  • Mr. Claure will continue as President and CEO of Brightstar
  • SoftBank will own approximately 57% and Mr. Marcelo Claure will own approximately 43% of Brightstar shares on an outstanding basis
  • Over the next 5 years, or upon certain events, SoftBank's ownership will accrete to 70%

The transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of SoftBank. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.  The companies expect the closing of the transaction to occur by the end of 2013.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Brightstar and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and K&L Gates LLP acted as counsel to Brightstar. The Raine Group LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to SoftBank and Morrison & Foerster LLP acted as lead counsel to SoftBank.

About Brightstar

Brightstar is the world's largest specialized wireless distributor and a leading provider of diversified services focused on enhancing the performance and results of the key participants in the wireless device value chain: manufacturers, operators and retailers. For more information, please visit http://www.brightstarcorp.com

About SoftBank

SoftBank Corp. (TSE:9984) is a pure holding company with more than 1,300 Group subsidiaries and affiliates that offer a comprehensive range of mobile communications, fixed-line communications and Internet services. With Sprint Corporation joining SoftBank in July 2013, the Group became a leading global carrier with close to 100 million subscribers. Maximizing synergies across its Group companies worldwide, SoftBank aspires to realize lifestyle innovation through IT. SoftBank is also encouraging the adoption of clean and safe energy through its business activities. To learn more, please visit http://www.softbank.jp/en/corp/

SOURCE Brightstar Corp.



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