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SoftBank, Sprint Majority Owner, to Split In Two

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Mar 7, 2016, 8:57 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

SoftBank today revealed a plan to separate itself into two separate companies, one for its Japan-based carrier business and another for its international operations, including Sprint. SoftBank's domestic business unit, which includes investments in Yahoo Japan, will be run by Ken Miyauchi. SoftBank's international unit, which includes Sprint and Alibaba, will be run by former Google exec Nikesh Arora. SoftBank will maintain full ownership of both businesses. The move is meant to separate the finances of the different businesses and prevent too much cash from SoftBank's Japanese operations being used to shore up its international investments. It may also help give SoftBank more legal and financial options for its international unit down the road. Sprint is $32 billion in debt, has lost marketshare to T-Mobile, has laid off thousands of employees, and faces a challenging network upgrade program. SoftBank purchased a majority ownership of Sprint in 2013.

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