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ソフトバンク 吉と出るか米携帯会社の買収

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 18, 2012)
Will SoftBank's purchase of Sprint be a ringing success?
ソフトバンク 吉と出るか米携帯会社の買収(10月17日付・読売社説)

SoftBank Corp. President Masayoshi Son is again making a big gamble with his pursuit of a policy of aggressive business expansion.
 強気の拡大路線を続けるソフトバンクの孫正義社長が、再び大きな賭けに出た。

Whether his company's investment in a U.S. mobile phone carrier will prove fruitful is sure to receive much attention.
 巨額買収の成否が注目されよう。

SoftBank, the third-largest wireless carrier in Japan, announced Monday plans to purchase Sprint Nextel Corp., the No. 3 mobile operator in the United States. SoftBank plans to buy about 70 percent of Sprint's shares for 20.1 billion dollars (1.57 trillion yen) to make the U.S. firm its subsidiary.
 国内携帯電話3位のソフトバンクが、米3位のスプリント・ネクステルを買収すると発表した。スプリント株の約70%を201億ドル(約1兆5700億円)で買い取って子会社化する。

With the purchase, SoftBank would jump to more than 90 million subscriptions in Japan and the United States combined, far exceeding the domestic number of Japan's largest carrier, NTT Docomo Inc. Its sales are expected to rank third in the world if the deal goes through.
 契約数は、日米合わせて9000万件を超え、国内最大手NTTドコモをはるかに上回る。売上高では世界3位に浮上する。

The domestic mobile phone market has reached a saturation point, with no room for further growth. Under the circumstances, SoftBank has decided to expand its business to North America through the purchase of the U.S. mobile carrier.
 国内の携帯電話契約数は飽和状態で、伸びは見込めない。スプリント買収を契機に、北米などで事業を拡大する狙いだろう。

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Era of realignment

The telecommunications industry has changed dramatically recently with the spread of smartphones and next-generation high-speed networks, such as the Long-Term Evolution. As international competition to provide goods and services at universal standards is now fully under way, the industry has entered an era of realignment that will take it beyond national borders.
 通信業界は次世代高速通信「LTE」や、スマートフォン(高機能携帯電話)の普及で激変している。世界標準のサービスや商品を提供する国際的な競争時代が本格化し、国境を超えた業界再編に踏み込んだと言える。

SoftBank and Sprint both sell Apple Inc.'s iPhone as their flagship product. SoftBank seems to think its planned expansion would put it in a position where it can negotiate better prices from Apple.
 ソフトバンクとスプリントはともに、米アップルのiPhone(アイフォーン)を主力商品としている。規模拡大によって、アップルとの価格交渉を有利に進めることも見込んでいるようだ。

Ultra-low interest rates and a historically high yen provided a tailwind for the deal. Other domestic companies can look to SoftBank's strategy of pushing ahead with international mergers and acquisitions as an example.
 今回の買収は、超低金利と歴史的な超円高も追い風となった。国際的な合併・買収(M&A)を仕掛けるソフトバンクの戦略は、他企業の参考になろう。

SoftBank has used corporate acquisitions as an engine to drive the growth of its business. It previously purchased Japan Telecom Co. and Vodafone Japan, the Japanese arm of British company Vodafone, and only earlier this month agreed to acquire eAccess Ltd., the fourth-largest domestic wireless carrier.
 ソフトバンクは、買収攻勢による事業拡張を成長の源泉としてきた。日本テレコム、英ボーダフォン日本法人などを買収し、今月には国内4位のイー・アクセス買収でも合意したばかりだ。

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Areas of concern

Nevertheless, there are some causes for concern regarding SoftBank's planned purchase of Sprint.
 ただし、今回の買収には、懸念材料が少なくない。

First, Sprint lags far behind its two biggest U.S. competitors in terms of subscribers, and has suffered a loss for five straight years. It remains to be seen whether SoftBank can synergistically improve the U.S. company's business performance.
 スプリントは契約数でライバルの米2強に離され、5期連続の赤字だ。ソフトバンクがスプリントの経営を再建し、相乗効果を発揮できるかどうかは未知数だ。

SoftBank's financial standing is expected to deteriorate considerably through the deal. The firm plans to raise cash for the purchase through bank loans, which would boost the firm's interest-bearing debt to about 4 trillion yen. This could prove to be a heavy financial burden. The radical moves by SoftBank's stock price after the acquisition deal was announced indicate the market is watching the deal warily.
 ソフトバンクの財務体質も大幅に悪化する。買収資金は銀行融資などで賄うとしているが、有利子負債は約4兆円に膨らみ、経営の重荷になりかねない。株価が乱高下しているのも、市場が不安視していることをうかがわせる。

Troubles with communication networks have been unceasing as telecommunication capacity has failed to keep up with the market's demands, which has been exacerbated by the spread of smartphones. Japan's complex and expensive rate system, the highest in the world, has also been the subject of much criticism.
 国内の携帯電話市場では、スマートフォン普及で増大した通信量をさばけず、通信障害が後を絶たない。複雑で世界一高いとされる料金体系への批判も多い。

There have also been persistent complaints over poor connections, especially among SoftBank subscribers. We hope the firm remembers to improve service for domestic subscribers, such as by expanding its communication infrastructure to provide a better transmission environment, and lowering rates.
 とくにソフトバンクは「つながりにくい」との声が根強い。電波環境の改善に向けた通信インフラの整備や、料金引き下げなど、国内利用者のサービス向上にしっかり取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 17, 2012)
(2012年10月17日01時32分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-20 07:58 | 英字新聞

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