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Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 22:19

SoftBank to sell game stake to Tencent

By Xinhua

SoftBank to sell game stake to Tencent
Pedestrians pass before a shop of Japanese telecom giant Softbank in Tokyo on Oct 28, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO)

TOKYO - Japanese leading telecommunication supplier SoftBank Group announced Tuesday that it has decided to sell its majority stake in a Finnish mobile game maker to Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings.

SoftBank will sell all of its 72.2 percent stake in the Finland-based mobile game maker Supercell to Tencent for expected aggregate cash consideration of approximately US$7.3 billion, said the Japanese telecommunications giant in a release.

Supercell, SoftBank and Tencent on Tuesday announced the signing of a definitive agreement pursuant to which a consortium established by Tencent will acquire up to 84 percent of Supercell,  according to the release.

SoftBank bought 51 percent stake in Supercell for US$1.53 billion in 2013, and increased its stake to some 72.2 percent last year.

The implied valuation for 100 percent of Supercell's equity is approximately US$10.2 billion. Total returns to SoftBank' s investment, including dividends received during ownership, amount to approximately US$8.4 billion.

"The transaction, which is currently expected to close during the third calendar quarter of 2016, is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions," said SoftBank, adding that "SoftBank will no longer own any shares in Supercell following closing."

"Supercell is known for its creativity, focus on player experience, and unique culture, which have enabled it to create innovative mobile games that are wildly popular globally," said Martin Lau, President of Tencent. "Tencent is dedicated to building long-term strategic partnerships with leading game companies."

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