* Deal for stake would be worth more than $1 billion -
* SoftBank aiming to boost bargaining power with handset
* SoftBank keeping up acquisition drive after $21.6 bln
TOKYO, Oct 16 SoftBank Corp is in talks
to buy a stake in U.S. wireless device distributor Brightstar
Corp in a deal that media reported could be worth more than $1
billion and would boost its bargaining power with hardware
The company's billionaire founder Masayoshi Son has said
that one of the key benefits of an earlier purchase of U.S.
mobile carrier Sprint Corp would be to bolster the group's
position with handset makers, an industry dominated globally by
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.
The Nikkei business daily said the Japanese tech and
telecoms group was in the final stages of talks to buy an up to
70 percent stake in Brightstar in a transaction worth more than
100 billion yen ($1 billion).
SoftBank said in a statement: "We are in discussions on this
matter but at this time we have not made any decision."
The talks mark a renewed acquisition drive by SoftBank after
the $21.6 billion Sprint purchase completed in July.
SoftBank, Japan's third-largest company by market
capitalisation, said on Tuesday it would pay 150 billion yen for
a 51 percent stake in Finnish mobile game maker Supercell, whose
hit games include "Clash of Clans" and "Hay Day."
"The volume effects and bargaining effects should begin to
emerge in handsets in about six months to a year," Son told an
event in late September, referring to the Sprint acquisition.
"Our negotiating power has got a major boost."
According to Brightstar's website, it purchases handsets
from more than 100 manufacturers including Samsung, Apple, LG
Electronics Inc and Sony Corp, supplying
carriers in markets worldwide.
The Nikkei said SoftBank would make the purchase from an
investment fund and other sources with an eye to eventually
boosting its holding to around 70 percent. It added that the
deal would be completed as early as the end of this year.
SoftBank's shares rose 2.2 percent to 7,400 yen on
Wednesday, their highest close in a week, compared with a 0.2
percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei average. SoftBank
has gained 136 percent since the start of the year, far
outpacing the Nikkei's nearly 40 percent rise.