Morrison & Foerster is advising Japanese Internet and telecommunications group Softbank Corp. in its $2.3 billion acquisition of eAccess, a rival mobile carrier.
The deal allows Softbank, which is the country’s third-largest cell phone company, to expand its network capacity and meet the growing bandwidth demands of Japanese consumers, who are quickly adopting faster next-generation smartphones that make use of more online services.
According to the New York Times, Softbank’s urgency in expanding capacity is the reason it was willing to pay a high premium for eAccess: over three times the latter’s closing price of $192 a share last Friday. The deal is expected to close early next year.
Morrison & Foerster Tokyo partners Ken Siegel and Andrew Winden are representing Softbank on the transaction. Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is acting as Japanese counsel to Softbank.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Hong Kong partners Gregory Puff and partner Zach Wittenberg are advising eAccess, along with partners Stuart Leblang and Ron Grabov-Nardini from the firm’s New York office. Japanese firms Anderson Mori & Tomotsune and Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu are also both acting for eAccess.
Sullivan & Cromwell partners Garth Bray, Stephen Kotran and Keiji Hatano, also in Tokyo, is advising eAccess majority shareholder Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Tokyo partner David Sneider advised Blackstone Group, a minority shareholder in eAccess.

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