Tokyo — SoftBank Group is increasing its stake in Yahoo Japan through a $2bn, three-way deal with US firm Altaba to deepen ties with the internet heavyweight ahead of an IPO of its telecoms unit. The transaction, with just $9m net investment by SoftBank, allows it to boost ownership of Yahoo Japan without putting pressure on its already strained balance sheet. It also leaves SoftBank’s domestic telecoms unit with a 12% stake in Yahoo Japan, highlighting for investors the two companies’ ties ahead of its planned listing. In the case of Altaba, formerly called Yahoo which also owns about 15% of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, the deal helps monetise some of its investment in the joint venture it set up with SoftBank in 1996. And for Yahoo Japan, the deal could strengthen ties with its biggest shareholder SoftBank and help to assuage concerns of investors who have seen its shares tumble this year. Yahoo Japan’s shares ended 11.4% higher in Tokyo on Tuesday. SoftBank announced o...

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