|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's range||10.93 - 10.93|
|52-week range||5.47 - 12.03|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.99|
|PE ratio (TTM)||11.23|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-dividend date||27 Dec 2019|
|1y target est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Shares in some of Japan’s largest mobile phone carriers dropped in Tokyo after the communications minister accused the companies of deploying a bait-and-switch tactic in cutting the costs of mobile phone plans.Reducing Japan’s hefty mobile phone bills has been a priority for the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, but carriers have largely avoided making cuts to plans offered by their mainstay operations. Instead, they’ve made cuts at their so-called sub-brands -- cheaper operations wholly owned by the carriers, such as KDDI Corp.’s UQ and SoftBank Corp.’s Yahoo Mobile. The sub-brands offer discount plans but often not the latest phones, and are popular with students and those using less data.“There have been no cheap plans announced at all for the main brands, which are used by most customers,” Ryota Takeda, the minister of internal affairs and communications, told a press conference in Tokyo on Friday. “They’re ‘promising mutton but selling dog’,” he added, using a Japanese expression that could also be translated as “selling vinegar as wine” or “a pig in a poke.”Shares in KDDI Corp. erased gains and fell as much as 2.3%, while SoftBank Corp. lost as much as 1.5% after rising earlier. Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc., which has entered the telecom market as a cheaper competitor, extended gains to as much as 4%.Suga’s battle to lower mobile phone bills goes back at least two years when, as chief cabinet secretary under Shinzo Abe, he stunned the market by calling for a 40% reduction in mobile fees and blasted the fat profit margins at the three main carriers.It’s a call he has often repeated upon becoming prime minister, and minister Takeda has called for bills to be cut to “international levels.” Government figures show a 20-gigabyte-data plan is more than three times more expensive in Tokyo than Paris.Japan Minister Says Mobile Fees Should Be Cut to Global LevelsThe carriers have responded so far by offering cheaper 20GB plans on their sub-brands, but have left plans on their more popular mainstay brands largely unchanged.“It’s not appropriate that they’ve just made a load of different plans and left the rest up to the customers to decide,” Takeda said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Walmart Inc. is selling most of Japanese retailer Seiyu to KKR & Co. and Rakuten Inc. in a deal that values the supermarket chain at 172.5 billion yen ($1.6 billion), as the U.S. giant retreats from its two-decade attempt to crack Japan’s retail market.Under the agreement, private equity fund KKR will become the majority owner with a 65% stake, while Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten takes 20%, the companies said in a statement Monday. Walmart will retain a 15% minority interest. Rakuten and KKR will seek to shore up Seiyu’s digital operations as demand for online retail grows in Japan amid the pandemic. The new owners are retaining a previously announced plan to re-list Seiyu in the future.“An IPO is certainly common goal for us,” Eiji Yatagawa, a partner at KKR, told Bloomberg News. “What’s important is to build a business that can go public. For a company to go public, you need to demonstrate a very attractive story to the market.”In June last year, Walmart said it would seek to relist Seiyu, following years of speculation that it was seeking to sell the chain after years of poor performance. While a 2018 report in the Nikkei newspaper said the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer planned to sell the business for as much as 500 billion yen, the company had repeatedly denied it was looking to exit. The price paid by KKR and Rakuten for the stakes was not disclosed.Walmart expects to recognize a non-cash loss of about $2 billion after taxes in the fiscal fourth quarter related to the deal, according to a regulatory filing. The company “does not expect a significant impact to earnings per share following completion of the transaction.”Foreign FailuresWalmart first invested in Seiyu in 2002 and took it private in 2008. But like other foreign retail giants, including Tesco Plc and France’s Carrefour SA, it failed to find success in Japan’s notoriously difficult and low-margin supermarket space, and struggled to compete with local rivals such as Aeon Co. and Seven & i Holdings Co.In 2018, it began working with Rakuten on fresh produce delivery in Japan as well an e-book operation in the U.S. The U.S. giant has been reshaping its international operations to focus on high-potential markets like India and China, and investing to build its digital operations globally as it faces cost pressures and sluggish growth in its home market.Fresh produce is a 60 trillion yen market in Japan, but only around 3-4% of that is online sales, according to Noriaki Komori, a Rakuten executive officer, creating a growth opportunity. Books and home appliance see about a third of sales online, he said. The pandemic has boosted e-commerce in Japan, where adoption has sometimes lagged other markets, with online clothes shopping and food delivery seeing notable gains.The pandemic has also been boosting domestic Japanese dealmaking in the second half of the year following a downturn at the start of the outbreak, a surge that private equity firms including KKR as well as Carlyle Group Inc. have been seeking to get involved in. Carlyle in March raised 258 billion yen ($2.5 billion) for its fourth Japan buyout fund, while KKR has been increasing its involvement in the country, declaring Japan in 2019 to be among the most interesting buyout opportunities in the world. The heads of its Japan operations told Jiji in September that it aimed to do one or two deals totalling 300 billion to 700 billion yen a year.KKR and Carlyle Are Betting on a Resurgence in Japan DealmakingThe combination of online retailer -- Rakuten runs Japan’s largest online shopping mall -- with traditional brick-and-mortar store has echoes of Amazon.com Inc.’s $13.4 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market in 2017. Whole Foods has struggled during the pandemic, however, with foot traffic down an estimated 25%. Amazon’s Japan arm already runs a grocery delivery service with Life Corp., a supermarket chain.“The world is very different today than it was 18 months ago for all of us,” said Judith McKenna, president of Walmart’s international business. “The world has accelerated in omni channel and digital transformation in the course of this year, not just in Japan but around the globe.”The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Seiyu Chief Executive Officer Lionel Desclee will stay in his role through the transaction and then take a new position within Walmart. A new CEO will then be appointed by a new board comprised of managers from the three owners.(Updates with Walmart’s expected loss in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Walmart announced today it will sell most of its shares in Seiyu, the Japanese supermarket chain it acquired 12 years ago, to KKR and Rakuten. The deal values Seiyu at about $1.6 billion and means Walmart will almost completely exit its operations in Japan. Under the agreement, investment firm KKR will buy a 65% stake in Seiyu, while Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce company, will take a 20% stake through a newly created subsidiary called Rakuten DX.