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Softbank’s Yahoo Japan Moves Closer in Merger Talks with Line, Shares Surge

SoftBank’s Yahoo Japan, one of Japan’s prime internet companies, confirmed it’s in talks to merge with Line, a $27 billion union that may bring the messaging app operator under the SoftBank umbrella in a major tech overhaul.

Yahoo Japan, in October, modified its name to Z Holdings, stated on Thursday discussions were underway with Line, but nothing had been determined. SoftBank, which owns nearly half of Z Holdings, further admitted the talks.

Z Holdings, which had a stock market worth of about $17 billion at Wednesday’s close, advanced 14.8%.

Shares in Line, which is worth approximately $10 billion, were untraded with an excess of buy orders.

Sources said the previous day an agreement was likely by month-end and could see SoftBank Corp and Line’s parent Naver form a 50/50 enterprise that would run  Z Holdings, which would, in turn, look after Yahoo and Line.

Line mentioned in its statement, it was true it’s contemplating ways to enhance its company value; however, nothing had been determined.

An agreement would bring together the operators of two of Japan’s largest QR code payment apps as the nation belatedly moves to cashless funds. SoftBank’s PayPay just lately 19 million users through aggressive advertising and marketing, while Line Pay can tap the 82 million Japanese customers of the Line application.

Line, which in October sold a majority stake in its mobile subsidiary to Japan’s SoftBank, has recorded three consecutive quarters of operating losses as the firm attempts to jump-start growth.

Z Holdings took a step in September to take control of fashion e-tailer Zozo in a $3.7 billion bid, as it bulks up against competitors, including

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