|Bid||39.10 x 2900|
|Ask||47.16 x 900|
|Day's Range||46.89 - 47.08|
|52 Week Range||27.04 - 51.97|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.13|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||33.84|
The transaction, subject to mandatory closing conditions and shareholder approvals, will help both Softbank (SFTBY) and Line to pool their resources for gaining a strong foothold in the AI domain.
SoftBank Corp plans to merge internet subsidiary Yahoo Japan with messaging app operator Line Corp to create a $30 billion tech group, as it strives to compete more effectively with local rival Rakuten and U.S. tech powerhouses. The deal, which would combine the providers of two of Japan's top QR code payment services, offers Yahoo Japan access to 164 million Line users and their data in Japan and Southeast Asia as SoftBank expands into services outside its core wireless business. The deal comes as SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son battles to restore his reputation after an ill-fated investment in office-sharing firm WeWork.
(Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son, after backing startups around the world, is engineering a complex deal on his home turf to create a national champion that can more effectively compete with global rivals like Google and Amazon.com Inc.Son’s SoftBank Group Corp. plans to combine its Yahoo Japan internet business with Line Corp. in a deal that values the country’s leading messaging service at $11.5 billion. SoftBank and South Korea’s Naver Corp. will take Line private and then fold Line and Yahoo Japan into a new joint venture. The deal requires shareholder approvals and is scheduled to close by October 2020.The two companies said the combination is driven by a sense of crisis that global giants are increasing their grip on the technology industry and countries like Japan risk falling behind. Together, Line and Yahoo Japan, which now operates as Z Holdings Corp., will be able to share engineering resources, access broader sets of data and invest more in areas like artificial intelligence, the chief executive officers said in a Tokyo press conference.“The internet industry often operates on the winner-takes-all principle and the strong only get stronger,” said Line co-CEO Takeshi Idezawa. “Even combined, our market capital, business scale and R&D expenditures are dwarfed by the global tech giants.”At the event, the CEOs gave unusual emphasis to their corporate vulnerabilities and the incumbent risks for Japanese consumers, perhaps in an attempt to preempt government scrutiny of a deal that will combine two of the country’s largest internet companies. The chiefs said they need to join forces to mount a serious challenge to much larger rivals from the U.S. and China.“We want to become an AI tech company that leads the world from Japan,” said Kentaro Kawabe, CEO of Z Holdings. Kawabe wore a bright green tie, Line’s trademark hue, while Idezawa donned one in Yahoo Japan red.Under the proposed transaction, Z Holdings and Naver will buy out Line’s public shareholders in a tender offer at a projected 5,200 yen per share, a 13% premium to Line’s share price before news of the talks. Each company plans to spend 170 billion yen ($1.56 billion) on the bid. Naver already owns 73% of Line, while SoftBank Corp., the domestic telecom arm of Son’s business empire, holds a roughly 44% stake in Z Holdings.The companies have been in talks about a possible alliance since June and settled on the idea of a merger in August, according to the statement. After taking Line private, SoftBank and Naver will undertake a reorganization that will eventually result in a 50-50 ownership of the new company. The combined entity will hold stock in Z Holdings, which will remain public with Yahoo Japan and Line as wholly-owned subsidiaries.SoftBank and Line have increasingly competed in fields such as digital payments, and an alliance may allow them to save money on expenses like subsidies. Both companies have also been investing in artificial intelligence to improve their services. While the announcement didn’t say how the mobile payment rivalry will be resolved, it said the resulting company aims to spend 100 billion yen annually on development of AI-powered products.“Big data is key for the future of both companies,” said Koji Hirai, the head of M&A advisory firm Kachitas Corp. “The merger will enable them to create a massive repository of client data.”Idezawa and Kawabe said there are potential synergies in a number of services areas spanning media content, fintech, advertising, communications and commerce, but didn’t give further details. The combined company will also have about 20,000 employees, a major benefit in an industry where competition for talent intensifies year after year, they said.Steps to the planned merger:Step 1 - Final signing of the deal planned for DecemberStep 2 - Naver and SoftBank to buy out Line’s public shareholders and create a new 50-50 joint ventureStep 3 - SoftBank moves its stake in Z Holdings to the JV, while Z Holdings issues 2.8 billion new shares to the JVStep 4 - Line and Yahoo Japan become fully owned subsidiaries of Z Holdings, which will be owned by the JV. The companies plan to complete the deal by October 2020Silicon Valley giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook Inc. and Chinese startups have taken the lead in both pushing AI development and turning the research into commercial products. That has left most other companies scrambling to attract scarce talent and collect the data necessary to conduct research in fields like deep learning.Line and Yahoo Japan are betting they can leverage local knowledge to stay in the race in their home country and markets where their services are popular, including South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. Line and Z Holdings shares rose on the deal.Yahoo Japan was once the country’s leading search engine, web portal and major e-commerce player, but has lost ground as users migrated from PCs to smartphones. The company’s online shopping offering has been squeezed by Amazon and Rakuten Inc., while smartphone-native newcomer Mercari Inc. lured customers from its auction service. Yahoo Japan counts some 48 million daily active users across its portfolio of more than 100 mobile phone apps.Line’s origins date back to the turn of the century, when Naver dispatched Shin Jung-ho to Japan to promote its search engine technology. Shin led the company through its first decade in relative obscurity, distributing online games and dabbling in social networking services. In 2010, Line acquired Livedoor Inc., a once high-flying Japanese web portal that had fallen on hard times after its founder was thrown in jail for accounting fraud. It launched Japan’s dominant messaging service in 2011 and went public in 2016.Shin, who shares the CEO title with Takeshi Idezawa at Line, will become the newly created entity’s chief product officer. The post will give him control over the 100 billion yen AI budget and oversight of service development for both Line and Yahoo Japan.Line has 82 million monthly active users in Japan and is also the dominant messenger in Taiwan and Thailand, where it has 21 million and 45 million customers respectively. The company has been expanding into financial services by partnering with Nomura Holdings Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. It has also been developing a lineup of AI-powered hardware products, including speakers and earphones. Outlays on the new businesses have led to losses in four out of five past quarters.In the Tokyo press conference, the CEOs repeatedly spoke about getting outgunned by GAFA, or Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple Inc. They said they wouldn’t want see Japan lose out on world-leading services like search and e-commerce, but they want to create a local alternative that can address domestic needs and tastes.“GAFA’s biggest threat is the kind of loyalty they command from their users,” said Kawabe. “We want to give users a domestic AI option. By focusing on Japan’s unique challenges, we can offer services others cannot.”(Updates with the deal strategy from first paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Z Holdings Corporation (OTC: YAHOY ), better known by its former name Yahoo! Japan, and Line Corporation (NYSE: LN ) announced on Monday they reached an agreement on their merger. What Happened The internet ...
SoftBank Corp. announced today that it has reached an agreement to merge with Z Holdings (the SoftBank subsidiary formerly known as Yahoo Japan) and Line Corp., in a move they hope will better position them against competitors. SoftBank and Naver, the owner of Line, will each hold 50% of a new holding company that will operate Line and Z Holdings.
Yahoo! Japan, which changed its name to Z Holdings Corporation (OTC: YAHOY ) last month, and Line Corporation (NYSE: LN ) saw their shares surge on Wednesday amidst news of merger talks. What Happened ...
SoftBank's Yahoo Japan is in talks to merge with messaging app operator Line Corp to create a $27 billion tech giant and help the Japanese conglomerate expand e-commerce and payments services. Yahoo Japan, which last month changed its name to Z Holdings, said on Thursday discussions were underway with Line but nothing had been decided. SoftBank Corp, which owns almost half of Z Holdings, also acknowledged the talks.
Japanese shares retreated to one-week lows on Thursday as doubts over an interim U.S.-China trade deal lifted the safe-haven yen, while Line Corp and Z Holdings surged on news that the Yahoo Japan operator was in merger talks with messaging app firm Line. The information and telecom sector rose 0.6% to become the second-best performer among Tokyo's 33 subsector indexes.
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. is considering a plan to consolidate its Yahoo Japan internet business with the messaging service Line Corp.Z Holdings Corp., a unit of SoftBank’s telecom arm formerly known as Yahoo Japan, confirmed that it’s in talks with Tokyo-based Line about a possible merger, but said no final decision on a deal had been made. Line separately said it is considering such a merger along with other opportunities to increase value. Z Holdings shares surged in Tokyo, while Line’s stock was poised to climb.SoftBank Corp., the domestic telecom arm of Masayoshi Son’s business empire, holds a 44% stake in Z Holdings, while Line is controlled by South Korea’s Naver Corp. SoftBank Corp. is considering setting up a new company with Naver, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. They may reach an agreement as early as this month, one of the people said.SoftBank and Line have increasingly competed in fields such as digital payments, and an alliance may allow them to save money on expenses like subsidies. Both companies have also been investing in artificial intelligence to improve their services. Line initiated the talks this summer and is looking for the partnership to give it a fighting chance in AI against larger rivals in the U.S. and China, according to a person familiar with the matter.“We can expect synergy benefits for its payment business and e-commerce operations,” said Taketo Yamate, senior analyst at Frontier Management Inc., a Japanese M&A advisory boutique.Japan’s biggest messaging service would become a wholly-owned subsidiary, but will retain a separate brand, the person said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.Z Holdings shares rose as much as 18% in Tokyo on Thursday, the biggest intraday jump since 2013. SoftBank Corp. rose as much as 2.6%, while Naver jumped as much as 12% in Seoul, most since 2008. Line was set to gain about 14% and hadn’t traded yet as of 10:30 a.m.SoftBank Group’s founder Son has relied on earnings from the telecom operations in Japan to finance his investments in technology companies overseas. But profits in the business may come under pressure from the entry of e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. planned for next year. Son has pushed the company to go “beyond carrier” operations, strengthening its alliance with Yahoo Japan, acquiring online clothing retailer Zozo Inc. and launching a mobile payments service PayPay. Rakuten slumped as much as 6.4% on Thursday.The merger will have an immediate impact by ending a costly mobile payments rivalry between Line Pay and PayPay, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling wrote in a note. Both companies have seen their profit margin slip because of aggressive spending on user acquisition, he said.Yahoo Japan was once the country’s leading search engine, web portal and major e-commerce player, but has lost ground as users migrated from PCs to smartphones. Line’s app not only counts 82 million monthly active users in Japan, but is also the dominant messenger in Taiwan and Thailand, where it has 21 million and 45 million customers respectively. The company has also been expanding into financial services by partnering with Nomura Holdings Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc., a move that puts it in direct conflict with Rakuten, which operates a bank and a rival mobile payment system.“There is a possibility of synergies that go beyond what’s obvious,” said Makoto Kikuchi, chief investment officer at Myojo Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “There is considerable potential here, but neither company has a track record pulling something like this off.”Story Link: SoftBank’s Z Holdings and Line in Final Talks to Merge: Nikkei(Updates with merger details in seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Yuki Furukawa.To contact the reporters on this story: Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at email@example.com;Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
SoftBank's Z Holdings Corp is in talks to merge with messaging app operator Line Corp, two sources said on Wednesday, the investment company's latest bet on a struggling tech firm. A deal could see SoftBank Corp, which controls internet firm Z Holdings, and Line's parent Naver Corp form a 50:50 venture that would control Z Holdings, which would in turn operate Line and Yahoo, the sources said.
SoftBank's Z Holdings Corp is in talks to merge with messaging app operator Line Corp , two sources said on Wednesday, the investment company's latest bet on a struggling tech firm. A deal could see SoftBank Corp , which controls internet firm Z Holdings, and Line's parent Naver Corp form a 50:50 venture that would control Z Holdings, which would in turn operate Line and Yahoo, the sources said.
Is LINE Corporation (NYSE:LN) a good stock to buy right now? We at Insider Monkey like to examine what billionaires and hedge funds think of a company before spending days of research on it. Given their 2 and 20 payment structure, hedge funds have more incentives and resources than the average investor. The funds have […]
SAN FRANCISCO, July 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Loyyal, the industry leader in bringing the power of blockchain technologies to loyalty and incentive programs, announced today that it has received investments from three leading Asia-based firms, Unblock Ventures Limited - LINE Corporation's blockchain investment company, Recruit Co., Ltd., and Monex Group, Inc. Together, these firms provide Loyyal with unparalleled access to the Asian market for loyalty and incentives, among the largest in the world with over 80% consumer adoption across the Retail, Travel & Hospitality, and Services sectors. Also participating in this round is one of Loyyal's original Series Seed investors, Dubai-based Hayaat Group. "We're extremely confident in Loyyal, and the company's approach, as this investment shows," said Matthew Lee, CEO of Unblock Ventures, subsidiary of LINE Corporation, "and the strength of various loyalty programs across Asia presents a unique opportunity for Loyyal in the market.
Chainalysis, a start-up specializing in countering money laundering and fraud in the digital currency space, has forged a partnership with BITBOX, a cryptocurrency exchange launched in July 2018, a top official of the U.S. company said on Thursday. New York-based Chainalysis will provide anti-money laundering and transaction-monitoring services to BITBOX, said Jonathan Levin, co-founder and chief operating officer of Chainalysis. Singapore-based BITBOX is a unit of LINE Corp, operator of LINE, Japan's largest social networking company, with more than 700 million users.
-- BITBOX adopts Chainalysis anti-money laundering compliance solution in anticipation of global cryptocurrency regulation -- NEW YORK and SINGAPORE , June 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Chainalysis, the blockchain ...
A lot of analysts are saying Luckin Coffee, which has filed paperwork to go public on the Nasdaq with the ticker LK, is "about to beat Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) at its own game."Source: Shutterstock But Luckin is playing a different game.As its F-1, the foreign corporate equivalent of an S-1, makes clear, Luckin is not about relaxing, holding meetings or spending quality time on comfy couches. Most of the 2,380 stores it had at the time of its public filing are kiosks, and most of its coffee drinks are delivered.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsLuckin is for the "996" people so beloved by Alibaba Group Holding (NASDAQ:BABA) CEO Jack Ma. The 72-hour work week -- 12 hours a day, 6 days a week behind a desk -- cries out for regular shots of coffee, brought straight to you.Luckin sells coffee as a drug, not a lifestyle. The Business Model for Luckin CoffeeLuckin's aim is to use equity investors, to quickly scale beyond its larger rival, locating its outlets around every Starbucks, then destroy it through lower prices and speedy delivery. * 7 Stocks That Are Soaring This Earnings Season That could work, if Starbucks is only selling coffee. But Starbucks is selling relaxation.On the surface, Luckin looks like Starbucks on steroids. Starbucks has an app. Luckin sells only through an app. Starbucks sells baked goods. Luckin sells many food items. Starbucks is delivering through Alibaba. Luckin is delivering through SF-Express and Meituan Dianping.Luckin is everything Starbucks pretends to be, and less. While Starbucks targets upper-class executives who can afford the 30 minutes it takes to meet and talk in comfortable surroundings, with huge roasteries in major cities, Luckin targets their harassed underlings who don't have that time or that money. Class vs. ClassStarbucks CEO Kevin Johnson says Luckin is aimed at short-term growth, and that its discounts are unsustainable.Luckin did lose more than it brought in during the first three months of 2019, a loss of $82 million on sales of $71.3 million. But for all of 2018 it managed to lose much more, $132 million, on sales of just $12.9 million.There are better reasons for disquiet.Luckin's books are mixed through not one, not two, but three tax havens -- Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands. The company is also focused on paying its top people first, through stock options. Chairman Charles Lu is already a Luckin billionaire, with a 30.5% stake. Founder Jenny Zhiya Qian, who was COO of Lu's previous start-up, a car rental outfit called Car Inc., holds a 20% stake.Luckin has grown on the backs of equity investors like Blackrock (NYSE:BLK). It raised $500 million in its first "angel" funding round. Its latest round, just completed this month, valued the company at $2.9 billion.To keep the cash flowing Lu himself recently took out a loan of $200 million from companies that might handle the IPO, like Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), secured by mandates on the IPO.People are getting very rich on Luckin, very fast, before analysts have any idea what the company is worth, how big it will get, or its current health. The Bottom Line on the Luckin IPOLuckin has slowed Starbucks' growth.Same-store sales for Starbucks in China grew at just low-single-digit rates last year. Luckin may also be more in touch with how China lives than Starbucks. Out of its over 2,000 stores only 109 look anything like a Starbucks -- they're called "relax" stores. Some 98 of the stores are delivery-only.But as Luckin copied Starbucks, so Luckin can be copied. A chain called Coffee Box has already raised $30 million and there's an Indonesian clone called Fore.Luckin may eat Starbucks' lunch, with its investors' money, but there are plenty coming behind it to eat its own.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of a new mystery thriller, The Reluctant Detective Finds Her Family, available now at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned no shares in companies mentioned in this article. More From InvestorPlace * 7 A-Rated Stocks That Are Under $10 * 7 Stocks That Are Soaring This Earnings Season * 5 Biotech Stocks for a Long-Lived Portfolio * 10 Times Apple's Hardware Failed Consumers -- And Hurt Its Business Compare Brokers The post Luckin Coffee -- The Chinese Not-Starbucks appeared first on InvestorPlace.
At close to 10 billion dollars Line Corp was the biggest tech IPO of the year - when it launched on the U.S. market in 2016. It could be now be joining forces to form a tech giant worth - at a possible 27 billion dollars - nearly three times that. Discussions are underway between the messaging app operator and Z Holdings - known until last month as Yahoo Japan. The two would bring together Japan's biggest QR code payment apps Combining a potential customer base of 100 million users. If, at this point, Line's services are money-losing - and nothing has been decided, it said, regarding a merger. For its part, Z Holdings - which is nearly half owned by Softbank Corp - also disclosed it's acquired a 50.1% stake ... In fashion e-tailer Zozo - in a 3.7 billion dollar deal. Markets though took their lift from the merger talks - driving Line's shares up by 15%. And Z Holdings by nearly 17%.