Jan 12 Softbank Corp, which has struck
a deal to buy third-ranked American mobile carrier Sprint Nextel
Corp, is in the final stages of talks to sell about 67
percent stake in eAccess Ltd to Samsung Electronics Co
and 10 others, the Nikkei reported.
The Japanese mobile operator bought eAccess in a $1.84
billion deal in October as it stepped up battle with its nearest
competitor KDDI Corp.
Softbank turned the mobile communications service provider
into a wholly owned subsidiary Jan. 1.
Other likely buyers include Sweden's LM Ericsson,
Finland's Nokia Siemens Networks, Orix Corp
and five Japanese leasing companies, the business daily said.
Cutting its eAccess stake will allow Softbank to work around
the Communications Ministry's policy on spectrum allocation to
telecom service providers, the Nikkei said.
Under the policy, either a parent company, or one of its
units in which it owns more than 33 percent, can apply for an
allocation of spectrum.
Softbank will remain the top shareholder in eAccess but lose
veto power after the sale, which is expected to close by end
January and raise several billion yen, the daily said.
The company has opted not to let any Chinese companies buy
eAccess shares to prevent any impact on its American operations,
the Nikkei said.
The U.S. Congress has expressed reservations about use of
Chinese communications equipment in the country.