Stake in company to grow to 70 percent over next five years
After purchasing a majority stake in Sprint earlier this year, Japanese carrier SoftBank is eyeing an investment in U.S. phone distributor Brightstar. The deal will see SoftBank take a 57 percent stake in the company for $1.26 billion in cash, and has already been approved by SoftBank's board. Brightstar is a name you may not have heard of before, but is one of the biggest phone distributors (acting between manufacturers and retailers) with a presence in over 50 countries worldwide.
The deal will make Brightstar the exclusive distributor of handsets to some SoftBank affiliates, presumably including Sprint here in the U.S. Along with its investment in Sprint, SoftBank's stake in Brightstar could give it a better foothold on securing the latest devices for its carriers. The deal is still in need of regulatory approval, but is expected to close by the end of 2013, the companies said.