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India's No. 1 Digital Wallet Paytm Raises $1.4B from SoftBank at $7B Valuation

India's No. 1 Digital Wallet Paytm Raises $1.4B from SoftBank at $7B Valuation

SoftBank Group Corp. (TYO: 9984), which will join Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) as a major shareholder and will take a seat on the board of Paytm, One97’s flagship brand and India’s largest digital payments platform. The deal reportedly brought Paytm’s valuation to about $7 billion. Last year, Paytm raised $60 million from Taiwanese chip maker MediaTek at a $5 billion valuation. Paytm is said to have 220 million wallet users and 5 million merchants of its e-commerce platform. “This investment by Softbank and support of the incredible entrepreneur Masa Son is a great endorsement of our team’s execution and vision. We believe we have a great opportunity to bring financial inclusion to half a billion Indians,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm. “Paytm plans to invest 10,000 crore over the next three to five years towards its commitment to enabling half a billion Indians to join the mainstream economy.” “In line with the Indian government’s vision to promote digital inclusion, we are committed to transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of Indian consumers and merchants by providing them digital access to a broad array of financial services, including mobile payments,” said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO, SoftBank Group. Paytm also said that it has received final regulatory approval for its mobile-first Paytm Payments Bank, which is set to begin operations later this month. “India has presented us with the world’s largest opportunity in terms of financial services and we are confident its market will grow exponentially over the next decade,” said Eric Jing, CEO of Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial. We are proud to be Paytm’s strategic partner and we will continue to extend our tech know-how to support Paytm’s growth in the country. We welcome SoftBank to a great ride together to provide equal access to financial services in India, Headquartered in New Delhi, One97 has more than 4,500 employees with regional offices in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata, and a global presence in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The company’s backers include Alibaba Group, Ant Financial (AliPay), SAIF Partners, Mediatek, Sapphire Venture and Silicon Valley Bank. SoftBank is a global technology player that aspires to drive the information revolution. The SoftBank Group holding company owns a global portfolio of companies, including advanced telecommunications, internet services, AI, smart robotics, IoT and clean energy technology providers. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm.]]>

Intelsat and OneWeb Startup to Merge, Raise $1.7B New Equity from SoftBank

Intelsat and OneWeb Startup to Merge, Raise $1.7B New Equity from SoftBank

in December 2016, SoftBank agreed to invest $1 billion in OneWeb to support the technological development and the construction of the world’s first and only high volume satellite production facility to further accelerate OneWeb’s vision of delivering affordable, high-speed, low latency internet to rural and remote communities around the world. Intelsat was a founding investor in OneWeb, making a minority equity investment in 2015. The complementary strengths of Intelsat and OneWeb, combined with the investment by SoftBank, are intended to create a financially stronger company with the flexibility to aggressively pursue new growth opportunities resulting from the explosion in demand for broadband connectivity for people and devices everywhere. Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer of Intelsat, said, “We believe that combining Intelsat with OneWeb will create an industry leader unique in its ability to provide affordable broadband anywhere in the world. As an early equity investor in OneWeb, we recognized a network that was a complement to our next-generation Intelsat EpicNG fleet and a fit with our long-term strategy. By merging OneWeb’s LEO satellite constellation and innovative technology with our global scale, terrestrial infrastructure and GEO satellite network, we will create advanced solutions that address the need for ubiquitous broadband. The transaction, including SoftBank’s investment, will significantly strengthen Intelsat’s capital structure and accelerate our ability to unlock new applications, such as connected vehicles, as well as advanced services for our existing customers in the enterprise, wireless infrastructure, mobility, media and government sectors, while also reducing execution and other risks.” Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb, said, “OneWeb has made incredible technical progress over the past year, and has itself attracted significant investment from SoftBank. With SoftBank’s support we will build the world’s first truly global broadband company, accelerating our mission of bridging the digital divide by connecting the four billion people without access today. While there are numerous growth paths available to OneWeb, we are very excited at the prospect of working with Intelsat on this shared objective.” Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank, said, “We are in the midst of a technological revolution and, provided we receive the necessary cooperation from Intelsat bondholders, we welcome the opportunity to support OneWeb as it creates the foundation for next-generation global internet services anywhere on the planet. This combination is consistent with SoftBank’s strategy of investing in disruptive, foundational technologies that are building the infrastructure for tomorrow, and this proposal offers a win-win opportunity to accelerate OneWeb’s mission while enhancing the Intelsat balance sheet.” The combined company will remain domiciled in Luxembourg, and continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The combined company, through its subsidiaries, expects to maintain a significant presence in the United States, including at OneWeb’s new manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida, and at Intelsat’s United States facilities in McLean, Virginia. The Board of Directors of the combined company will be made up of seven directors, including three independent directors, three members selected by SoftBank and one director selected by a current Intelsat shareholder. Intelsat’s CEO, Stephen Spengler, will be the CEO of the combined company. OneWeb’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Greg Wyler, will be the Executive Chairman of the combined company’s Board of Directors. The combination agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of Intelsat and OneWeb. Both the merger and the SoftBank investment are subject to completion of debt exchange offers to certain existing Intelsat bondholders, as well as receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other conditions. The deal is expected to close late in the third quarter of 2017. Guggenheim Securities, LLC and Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisors and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Elvinger Hoss and Prussen provided legal counsel to Intelsat. PJT Partners acted as lead financial advisor to OneWeb and also advised SoftBank. Barclays acted as a financial advisor to OneWeb and rendered a fairness opinion. Morrison & Foerster LLP, Arendt and Medernech, and Mourant Ozannes provided legal counsel to OneWeb and SoftBank, and Choate Hall & Stewart LLP and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy provided legal counsel to OneWeb. Intelsat operates the world’s first Globalized Network, delivering high-quality, cost-effective video and broadband services anywhere in the world. Intelsat’s Globalized Network combines the world’s largest satellite backbone with terrestrial infrastructure, managed services and an open, interoperable architecture to enable customers to drive revenue and reach through a new generation of network services. Thousands of organizations serving billions of people worldwide rely on Intelsat to provide ubiquitous broadband connectivity, multi-format video broadcasting, secure satellite communications and seamless mobility services. OneWeb’s mission is to enable affordable Internet access for everyone, to connect all the unconnected schools of the world, and to fully bridge the digital divide by 2027. OneWeb is building a communications network, with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites, that will provide connectivity to billions of people around the world. With more than 10 terabits per second of new capacity, it will extend the networks of mobile operators and ISP’s to serve new coverage areas, bringing voice and data access to consumers, businesses, schools, healthcare institutions and other end users. Softbank  is a global technology player that aspires to drive the information revolution. The SoftBank Group holding company owns a global portfolio of companies, including advanced telecommunications, internet services, AI, smart robotics, IoT and clean energy technology providers. In September 2016, ARM Holdings plc, the world’s leading semiconductor IP company, joined the SoftBank Group.]]>

Japan's SoftBank to Acquire Fortress Investment Group $FIG for $3.3B

Japan's SoftBank to Acquire Fortress Investment Group $FIG for $3.3B

In September 2016, SoftBank acquired British semiconductor IP company ARM Holdings plc for $32 billion. The company was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. “Fortress’s excellent track record speaks for itself, and we look forward to benefitting from its leadership, broad-based expertise and world-class investment platform,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. “For SoftBank, this opportunity will immediately help expand our group capabilities, and, alongside our soon-to-be-established SoftBank Vision Fund platform, will accelerate our SoftBank 2.0 transformation strategy of bold, disciplined investment and world class execution to drive sustainable long-term growth.” “SoftBank is an extraordinary company that has thrived under the visionary leadership of Masayoshi Son,” said Fortress Co-Chairmen Pete Briger and Wes Edens. “We are very pleased to announce an agreement setting our business on a great path forward as part of SoftBank, while creating significant value for our shareholders. We join a company with tremendous scale and resources, and a culture completely aligned with our focus on performance, service and innovation. We anticipate substantial benefits for our investors and business as a whole, and we have never been more optimistic about our prospects going forward.” Under the terms of the merger agreement, which was unanimously approved by a Special Committee of Independent Directors of Fortress’s Board of Directors and Fortress’s full Board of Directors, each Fortress Class A shareholder will receive $8.08 per share, which represents a premium of 38.6% to the closing price of Fortress Class A common stock on February 13, 2017, and a premium of 51.2% to Fortress’s 3-month volume-weighted average price, excluding dividends. In addition, each Fortress Class A shareholder may receive up to two regular quarterly dividends prior to the closing, each in an amount not to exceed $0.09 per Class A Share. Fortress plans to maintain its current base dividend of $0.09 per share for the fourth quarter of 2016 and, if closing does not occur prior to the applicable payment date, for the first quarter of 2017. Fortress principals Pete Briger, Wes Edens and Randy Nardone have agreed to continue to lead Fortress, and have committed to invest 50% of their after-tax proceeds from the transaction in Fortress-managed funds and vehicles, underscoring a deep alignment with the interests of Fortress’s limited partner investors, and in equity securities of SoftBank and SoftBank-managed funds and vehicles. In addition, the Fortress principals have agreed to vote shares representing an aggregate of 34.99% of the outstanding Fortress voting shares held by them in favor of the transaction. Fortress’s senior investment professionals will remain in place and will retain their significant participation interests in fund performance. Fortress will operate within SoftBank as an independent business headquartered in New York, and SoftBank is committed to maintaining the leadership, business model, brand, personnel, processes and culture that have supported Fortress’s success to date. SoftBank can bring in partners for a portion of the investment. Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu of F.A.B. Partners, who arranged the transaction, will continue to advise SoftBank with respect to Fortress. The deal is subject to approval by Fortress shareholders, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the second half of 2017. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as financial advisor, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel, and KPMG LLP acted as accounting and tax advisor to SoftBank. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP provided legal counsel to Fortress. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP provided legal counsel to the Fortress principals. Evercore acted as financial advisor, and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP provided legal counsel to the Special Committee of Fortress’s Board of Directors. Photo: Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank.]]>