SoftBank in Acquisition of 57% Interest in Brightstar

October 18, 2013

Cleary Gottlieb is representing Brightstar and its founder, Marcelo Claure, in connection with the acquisition by SoftBank of a 57% interest in Brightstar for $1.26 billion in cash. SoftBank’s interest in the company will accrete to 70% over the next five years.

As part of the transaction, the Buying & Innovation Group, “BIG,” a joint venture created to realize savings and efficiencies for SoftBank, Sprint Corporation and Brightstar, will become a division of Brightstar. In addition, Brightstar will become the exclusive provider of handsets, accessories, and services to certain SoftBank telecommunications affiliates and will have a preferential right to provide these affiliates with services including distribution, supply chain, handset insurance, buy-back & trade-in, multi-channel retail and financial services.

The deal was signed on October 18 and is expected to close by the end of 2013, subject to regulatory approvals.

Brightstar is the world’s largest specialized wireless distributor and a leading provider of diversified services to wireless device manufacturers, operators and retailers.

SoftBank and its affiliates offer a comprehensive range of mobile communications, fixed-line communications and Internet services. With Sprint Corporation joining SoftBank in July 2013, the group became a leading global carrier with close to 100 million subscribers.