SoftBank to invest $1 billion in Korean e-commerce site Coupang

SoftBank to invest $1 billion in Korean e-commerce site Coupang

Japanese telecoms group SoftBank Corp (9984.T) is investing $1 billion in South Korean online retailer Coupang as part of a plan to step up its overseas expansion and as it struggles to turn around U.S. carrier Sprint (S.N) which it bought in 2013.

SoftBank has been turning to overseas deals for growth amid a lackluster Japanese economy and shrinking demographics. The latest move comes two days after SoftBank said it had increased its controlling stake in Supercell, the Finnish mobile games maker best known for its hit title ‘Clash of Clans’.

The funding, which is expected to close in July, brings the total sum Coupang has raised over the past year to $1.5 billion, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday. They did not disclose the size of SoftBank’s stake in Coupang following the deal.

Coupang, founded in 2010 by Harvard dropout Bom Kim, offers daily deals on goods ranging from beauty products to tickets for travel and is South Korea’s top online commerce firm by revenue.

E-commerce has grown rapidly in South Korea, where consumers routinely buy goods ranging from toilet paper to designer handbags through their computers or smartphones.

But intense competition and high promotion costs have raised questions about the industry’s profitability. Coupang reported an operating loss of 122 billion won ($110.52 million) last year.

SoftBank’s investment comes after Groupon Inc’s (GRPN.O) announcement in April that it would sell a 46 percent stake in Ticket Monster, its South Korean e-commerce business, for $360 million to a partnership formed by KKR (KKR.N) and Anchor Equity Partners.

($1 = 1,103.8600 won)

(Additional reporting by Vincent Lee in SEOUL; Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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Google’s business chief departs for SoftBank in latest leadership change

Google’s business chief departs for SoftBank in latest leadership change

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:02pm EDT

 The Google signage is seen at the company's offices in New York January 8, 2013.  REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The Google signage is seen at the company’s offices in New York January 8, 2013.

CREDIT: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY

(Reuters) – Google Inc’s chief business officer, one of Chief Executive Officer Larry Page’s key lieutenants and the company’s main liaison to Wall Street, is leaving the Internet search company, the latest high-ranking executive to depart.

Nikesh Arora, who joined Google nearly a decade ago, will move to Japan’s SoftBank Corp as vice chairman, according to a post by Page on the Google+ social network.

Omid Kordestani, who has led sales teams at Google for years, will take over in the interim, marking the latest change to Google’s senior leadership in past months.

Android operating software boss Andy Rubin stepped aside last year, and Salar Kamangar, head of the YouTube video website, was succeeded in February by longtime Google ad executive Susan Wojcicki.

In April, Vic Gundotra, head of social networking services, said he was exiting.

Arora’s surprise departure was announced as Google reported results that beat investors’ expectations on Thursday.

Revenue in the three months ended June 30 totaled $15.96 billion, compared to $13.11 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for $15.61 billion in revenue.

The world’s No.1 Internet search company said the number of “paid clicks” by consumers on its ads increased 25 percent year-on-year in the quarter. But the average price of the ads declined 6 percent.

Google earned $3.42 billion or $4.99 per share in the second quarter, versus $3.23 billion or $4.77 per share a year earlier. Excluding certain items, Google said it earned $6.08 a share.

Shares of Google were up roughly 1 percent in after hours trading on Thursday at $580.

 

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)