Ropes & Gray Advises Deutsche Bank as Financial Advisor to Naver in Connection with Business Integration of Line Corp. with Z Holdings Corp.

In The News
January 2, 2020

Ropes & Gray is advising Deutsche Bank in connection with its role as financial advisor to Naver Corp., the 73% shareholder of Line Corp., in connection with a business integration of Line with Z Holdings Corp (formerly known as Yahoo Japan), a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp.  In connection with the transaction, SoftBank and Naver will launch a tender offer for Line’s remaining shares. The press release is here.

The deal would combine the providers of two of Japan’s top QR code payment services. The merger affords Yahoo Japan access to 164 million Line users along with their data in Japan and Southeast Asia.

The companies reached a definitive agreement under which SoftBank and Naver will form a 50:50 joint-venture that will control Z Holdings, which in turn would operate Yahoo Japan and Line.

The Ropes & Gray team that advised Deutsche Bank was led by partners John Sorkin (New York) and Tsuyoshi Imai (Tokyo) and included partners Jaewoo Lee (Seoul) and Sarah Young (New York).