Softbank to cut Yahoo Japan stake

The Internet investor says it plans to cut its majority stake in Yahoo Japan to 42 percent by selling shares in the Web portal to fund its fledgling broadband service.

TOKYO--Internet investor Softbank said Monday it plans to cut its majority stake in Yahoo Japan to 42 percent by selling shares in the Web portal to fund its fledgling broadband service.

The move would mark the latest asset sale by Softbank in its transformation from a once high-flying Internet investor to a provider of high-speed Internet service.

Over the last year, Softbank has sold part of its shareholdings in U.S. Internet media company Yahoo Inc and communications equipment maker UTStarcom to pay for its asymmetric digital subscriber line business, "Yahoo BB."

Yahoo BB, which was launched in September 2001, had 1.69 million subscribers in Japan at the end of last year.

The offering of 40,000 Yahoo Japan shares, due to take place March 10-12, would net Softbank $690 million based on Yahoo Japan's Feb. 28 closing share price.

Story Copyright  © 2003 Reuters Limited.  All rights reserved.

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