Softbank Group sells mobile distribution firm Brightstar

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Softbank Group is selling mobile distributor and lifecycle management firm Brightstar as part of the former’s recent sale of assets.

No financial terms have been disclosed for the sale to Brightstar Capital Partners (BCP), a private equity firm headed by a former chief operating officer of Brightstar but unrelated to the company, other than that it has been sold for cash and a 25 per cent stake in the new subsidiary.

Brightstar was acquired by Softbank back in 2014, partly to support its mobile operators such as Sprint in the US and eponymous Softbank Corp in its home country.  However, the Japanese giant now has reduced stakes in both following the former’s merger with T-Mobile and a sale of stock in the latter.

Brightstar sale

Brightstar works behind-the-scenes in the mobile industry, assisting mobile operators, device manufacturers and retailers during the entire lifecycle of a smartphone and tablet. Its portfolio includes supply chain, logistics, insurance, trade-in and repair services, while it is also a major player in mobile accessories.

Essentially, the company plays a significant role in powering and delivering the services and support received by consumers and businesses from their operator or manufacturer.

Softbank has looked to sell some of its more blue-chip assets in order to increase its cash reserves and balance its books after several failed investments – most notably WeWork. Earlier this month it agreed a $40 billion deal to sell UK-based chip designer Arm holdings to Nvidia, although that deal will face regulatory and political hurdles in order to be completed.

Marcelo Calure, who founded Brightstar and has since risen to COO at Softbank, said: “Since I founded Brightstar over 20 years ago, the company has grown tremendously and become a leader of end-to-end device lifecycle solutions.

“I am incredibly proud of what Brightstar has accomplished over the years and excited for its future. [Softbank Group] looks forward to partnering with BCP as Brightstar enters into its next phase of growth.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.