Legal giants land mandates on US$30bn Yahoo Japan-LINE merger

Dealmakers from Japanese, South Korean, and US top firms are working to close the major tech deal

Legal giants land mandates on US$30bn Yahoo Japan-LINE merger

A laundry list of top firms from Japan, South Korea, and the US have landed mandates in the planned Yahoo Japan and LINE Corp merger that’s expected to create a US$30bn technology group.

Last week, Softbank announced the plan to merge its Yahoo Japan subsidiary, now known as Z Holdings, with the LINE Corp subsidiary of Korean internet giant NAVER. The merger is expected to help Yahoo Japan and the LINE messaging app compete against rivals in Asia and in North America.

SoftBank is being advised by Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. NAVER’s legal advisors are Nishimura & Asahi, Kim & Chang, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

The subsidiaries, which are planned to merge into a 50:50 joint venture between their parents, have also retained top firms as legal counsel. Z Holdings is being advised by Mori Hamada Matsumoto and Latham & Watkins, while LINE has retained Anderson Mori & Tomotsune and Shearman & Sterling.

Z Holdings’ special committee for the deal is being advised by Takai & Partners. LINE’s special committee is counselled by Nakamura, Tsunoda & Matsumoto and White & Case.

Financial advisers to Softbank and NAVER are Mizuho Securities and Deutsche Bank, respectively. Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities and J.P. Morgan Securities Japan have been retained as financial advisers to Z Holdings and LINE, respectively.

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