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Softbank sheds part of Yahoo stake

The Japanese Internet investor sells 3.16 million shares of the Net giant, making $336 million in profit.

Japanese Internet investor Softbank today said it sold 3.16 million shares of Net giant Yahoo, making $336 million in profit.

After the sale, Softbank's stake in Yahoo dropped to 22.58 percent from 23.18 percent. The company said it plans to use the proceeds to fuel its global expansion efforts. The sale was a combined block trade and privately negotiated transaction.

"Yahoo continues to be a key holding in Softbank's Internet strategy," Ronald Fisher, chief executive of Softbank Global Ventures, said in a statement. "(We) currently have no plans to sell any additional Yahoo shares this year."

Since last summer, Softbank has announced the creation of several joint ventures and funds to expand the company's global reach. It has partnered with News Corp.'s Internet arm, ePartners, to expand into the United Kingdom, India, Australia and New Zealand. Softbank has a similar deal with Vivendi to expand into Europe. The Japanese company is also hoping to extend its presence in Latin America and the Far East.

"We believe the international expansion efforts that this transaction will help launch will bring additional resources and opportunities to Yahoo and other Softbank family companies," Fisher said.