SoftBank, which recently acquired a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20 billion (for a more than 80 percent stake in the company), is continuing its spending spree. The Japanese wireless carrier will acquire a 57-percent stake in Brightstar for $1.26 billion, according to statements made by both companies on Friday.
The acquisition includes a new joint venture that includes SoftBank, Brightstar and Sprint, called the Buying & Innovation Group (BIG), which will operate as a separate entity under the Brightstar brand. As part of the deal, Brightstar will provide handsets to SoftBank “telecommunications affiliates,” the company said, and will help expand Brightstar to 200 additional operators and more than 40,000 retailers around the globe.
“SoftBank’s investment in Brightstar solidifies our position as the leading distribution, services, and innovation company in the world for the wireless industry,” said Brightstar Founder, Chairman and CEO, Marcelo Claure.
Brightstar might not be a familiar brand to consumers, since it mostly operates behind the scenes, though it handles supply chains management, phone insurance and protection claims and distribution for wireless retailers around the globe. It is reportedly Apple’s partner for the company’s iPhone trade-in program, for example.