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Sony pushes shares deal to buy out broadband provider

In a recent filing, Sony has revealed it plans to purchase all remaining shares in Japanese broadband company So-Net.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

Sony has revealed it plans to purchase all remaining shares in Japanese broadband company So-Net, in a deal worth 60 billion yen ($764 million).

A filing completed by the two companies on Thursday (.pdf) announced Sony's plans to acquire the shares remainder in the company -- 42 percent -- in order to turn the broadband provider into a wholly-owned subsidiary. The company believes that completing the deal will result in "a full leverage of So-net's business portfolio and assets."

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Sony currently owns 58 percent of the Japanese company So-Net, but 107,772 shares are still outstanding. Other parties including Japanese and international banks are currently listed as shareholders.

The tech giant's tender offer will run for 29 business days -- from August 10 until September 20 -- at 567,500 yen ($7229) a share. However, if Sony does not acquire all of So-net's issued shares through the offer, the companies plan to implement a share exchange to wrap up the remaining purchases.

The filing reads:

"As the business environment surrounding the Sony group has changed dramatically and rapidly, Sony has been seeking to strengthen its core areas and allocate resources to growth areas under the new management team. In this regard, network services have become essential to Sony in leveraging its strengths.

So-net has achieved significant success, particularly in the area of network services in Japan, and its rich array of network-related assets, including service management know-how, technologies, talent, extensive user base and content are all aligned with Sony’s strategic direction."

Other areas include using So-Net's services to "advance the pursuit of cloud services and interactive entertainment experiences in Japan and Asia," and to promote "an expansion of Sony’s network service platform to Asia outside Japan as well as within Japan."

The filing also suggests that the acquisition could boost So-Net's customer base and sales network. The company was founded in 1995 and had sales of $1.19 billion in the last fiscal year.

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