Japan's Softbank unloads Yahoo! shares
Japanese telecom giant Softbank on Friday said it was selling the bulk of its holdings in US Internet firm Yahoo! to Citibank in repayment of a 2004 loan.
Softbank, the third biggest player in the Japanese telecoms market, currently holds around four percent of the US company.
The transaction will have no effect on the current co-operation between Yahoo! and Softbank, which also owns more than 40 percent of the independently managed Yahoo! Japan, making it the company's largest shareholder.
The rocketing value of Yahoo! in recent years means that Softbank will not only pay down its debts to Citibank but will also pocket a profit of 76.4 billion yen ($1 billion).
In 1996, Softbank held around 37 percent of Yahoo!, but has gradually reduced its stake to concentrate on domestic business, including its tie-up with Yahoo! Japan, the biggest search engine by users in the archipelago.
(c) 2011 AFP