As Naver and SoftBank have signed the main contract for the integration of LINE and Yahoo! Japan, the birth of Asia's largest Internet company with more than 100 million users is close at hand.
Naver announced that Z Holdings, a subsidiary of SoftBank and the parent company of Yahoo! Japan, a Japanese internet portal company, and LINE, a Japanese subsidiary of Naver, signed an official marriage contract on Dec. 23.
Under the agreement, Naver and SoftBank will make a tender offer to acquire all of LINE's shares, and then LINE will become a joint venture where Naver and SoftBank will share voting rights 50-50. In addition, the joint venture will become the controlling shareholder of Z Holdings, which in turn will control messenger platform LINE, portal Yahoo! Japan, commerce platforms Yahoo! Shopping and JoJo, and financial service provider Japan Net Bank.
The two companies already signed a basic agreement on integration on Nov. 18. “We will create synergies in each business area and at the same time, pursue growth in artificial intelligence (AI), commerce, fintech, advertising, online to offline (O2O), and other business areas to successfully cope with fierce competition in Japan and the global markets,” both sides said.