Press Releases 2004

Concerning an Acquisition of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks and a Basic Agreement with Hawks Town

Nov. 30, 2004

SOFTBANK CORP. (“the Company”) is pleased to announce that a meeting of the Board of Directors held on November 30, 2004 has decided to acquire the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (Head Office: Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka; Representative: Hiroyuki Takahashi, hereinafter referred to as “FDH”). The Company signed a share transfer agreement and reached an agreement on the business transfer related to the Fukuoka Dome with Hawks Town Co. (hereinafter referred to as “HT”) the same day.

The Company also filed an application with Nippon Professional Baseball (hereinafter referred to as “NPB”) the same day.

<1> Acquisition of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks

1. Objectives of Acquisition of Shares

The objectives of the Company’s acquisition of one of the best baseball teams in Japan’s professional baseball world, both in terms of popularity and ability, are to significantly improve the Company’s image, to increase publicity and to enhance broadband content.

2. Profile of Subsidiary Being Transferred (As of the End of August 2004)

(1) Company name The Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
(2) Representative Hiroyuki Takahashi
(3) Location of head office Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
(4) Established November 1988
(5) Type of business Professional baseball club
(6) Capital 100 million yen
(7) Number of outstanding shares 14, 720,000
(8) Major shareholder The Daiei, Inc., 14,432, 000 shares(approximately 98%)

3. Vendor of Shares

(1) Company name The Daiei, Inc.
(2) Representative Toshio Hasumi
(3) Location of head office Kobe-shi, Hyogo
(4) Type of business Retailing

4. Profile of Acquisition

(1) Number of shares acquired and its ownership 14,432,000 (ownership: approximately 98%)
(2) Value of business 5 billion yen
(3) Conditions for acquisition Subject to the approval of the NPB owners’ meeting due to be held on December 24, 2004.

5. Future Schedule(all tentative)

December 6, 2004 NPB’s hearing on the Company
December 20, 2004 NPB executive committee
December 24, 2004 NPB owners' meeting*
January 28, 2005 Implement the share transfer (subject to an approval of*)

<2> Reasons for the Basic Agreement with Hawks Town

1. Reasons for the Basic Agreement

FDH and HT currently have an agreement on the rights for ticket sales and merchandise, in which FDH delegates to HT sales of tickets and baseball goods for games hosted by FDH, and HT pays the costs to FDH. HT and the Company have agreed to revise the existing contractual relationship between FDH and HT as follows

  • (1)HT and a new baseball company established after the acquisition of the shares of FDH by the Company, will transfer baseball-related businesses including the above-mentioned agreement on the rights over ticket sales and merchandise and the operation of the Fukuoka Dome, including billboard advertising, concerts and events (hereinafter referred to as the Dome business) to a wholly-owned consolidated subsidiary of the Company (hereinafter referred to as SBG Company). Consequently, all business including not only the sale of tickets and baseball goods, but also billboard advertising inside the Dome, merchandizing, and the broadcasting rights of baseball games will be managed by the Company Group. The transfer of the Dome businesses from HT is to be implemented in the form of a business transfer to SBG Company.

  • (2)HT and the new baseball company or SBG Company will exchange a long-term lease agreement on the use of the Fukuoka Dome to express the Company’s intention to keep the new baseball team in a stable condition for the long term. The period of the lease is expected to be more than twenty years at least.

  • (3)The Company’s group will accept and take charge of loaned employees from HT in the meantime for the operation of the Dome business. The purpose of this is to: (1) Secure existing sales channels; and (2) Emphasize the maintenance of local employment and smoothly transfer the Dome business, as the operating activities of the Dome business are currently mainly conducted by sales staff at HT.

2. Amount of Payment to HT

The Company will pay 15 billion yen for the transfer of the Dome business from HT.

3. Profile of Transferring Company

(1) Company name Hawks Town Co.
(2) Representative Toshio Masui
(3) Location of head office Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
(4) Type of businesses Management of Hawks Town Mall, Fukuoka Dome and Sea Hawk Hotel & Resort

4. Future Schedule(all tentative)

December 24, 2004 Sign an agreement on the business transfer
January 28, 2005 Implement the agreement mentioned above.

<3> Impact on Performance

The impact on the consolidated financial statement of the Company resulting from the acquisition is not yet determined.

Attachment

Principles of the Company Concerning the Management of Baseball Team

The Company believes that it will benefit in various ways from its entry into the management of a baseball team and will be able to contribute to the future development of the professional baseball world.

The Company’s plans for the management of baseball team at the moment are as follows

1. The Integration of Management and Supplementary Rights

The Company, through the acquisition of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, will integrate the management of the team and the rights to sell ticket and baseball goods and to broadcast within the Group, which allows the team to conduct promotional activities flexibly and efficiently as a company, and to establish a support system with the full cooperation of the Group.

2. Introduction of New Services

The Company, which owns know-how in e-commerce and Internet technology, can provide innovative services in ticket sales, live coverage of baseball games and other services to its fans as a result of this entry into baseball team management.

3. The Base of the Team

The Company has decided to base the new team in Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka. The Company will make an agreement on the use of the stadium for thirty years with Hawks Town Co., the owner of the Fukuoka Dome. The Company will run a locally based baseball team in cooperation with Hawks Town.

(The Agreement attaches an option to cancel the agreement without penalty after twenty years.)

4. Other

The Company will announce the new management of the team, the team name and the uniform, which are to be discussed in the future, as soon as decisions are made.

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