Yahoo Japan Owner, Line to Reach Merger Accord Early Next Week

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 16 (Jiji Press)--Yahoo Japan owner Z Holdings Corp. <4689> and free messaging app provider Line Corp. <3938> are likely to reach a business integration accord early next week, it was learned Saturday.

They are aiming to complete the integration within 2020, informed sources said. The move will create the biggest Japanese internet service group with more than 100 million users.

After an agreement is struck, Z Holdings President Kentaro Kawabe and Line President Takeshi Idezawa will hold a press conference to announce the deal, the sources said. Z Holdings is a unit of major Japanese mobile phone carrier Softbank Corp. <9434>.

Under consideration is a plan for Softbank and South Korea's Naver Corp., which owns Line, to set up a fifty-fifty joint company that would place Z Holdings under its wing and for Z Holdings to control Yahoo Japan and Line as fully owned units, according to the sources.

Kawabe is expected to become president and co-chief executive officer of the envisaged joint company, while Idezawa is seen serving as co-CEO, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press