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Softbank Corp To Sell Stake In eAccess Limited To Samsung, Others; Nokia Oyj And Siemens AG's Nokia Siemens Networks May Also Consider Bid For Stake-Reuters

Friday, 11 Jan 2013 10:18pm EST 

Reuters reported that Softbank Corp is in final talks to sell its stake in eAccess Limited, representing around 67% of voting rights, to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and 10 others. Softbank, which is awaiting regulatory approval to buy a 70% stake in U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Nextel Corp, bought Japanese rival eAccess last October as it stepped up competition with its nearest competitor KDDI Corp. Softbank turned eAccess into a wholly owned subsidiary on January 1 after a share exchange, using 220 billion yen ($2.47 billion) worth of its own shares. After dividing eAccess shares into voting and non-voting shares, Softbank is considering reducing its ownership of eAccess voting rights to less than one-third, the source said. The sale of eAccess' voting rights would total several billion yen. Other than Samsung, likely buyers include Sweden's LM Ericsson, ORIX Corporation, adding that the eAccess voting shares would be divided between companies into hundreds of millions of yen each. The Nikkei business newspaper reported earlier on Saturday that Softbank was also considering selling the eAccess stake to Finland's Nokia Oyj And Siemens AG's Nokia Siemens Networks and five Japanese leasing companies. 

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