Private equity, Mergers and Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Distributed Workforce

Private Equity Firm BCP Acquires Brightstar From SoftBank

Newly founded private equity firm Brightstar Capital Partners (BCP) has bought a majority stake in mobile device distributor Brightstar Corp from multinational tech conglomerate SoftBank. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is M&A deal 391 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2020. See the full M&A deal list here.

BCP was founded by former Brightstar executive Andrew Weinberg and is headquartered in New York City. Softbank will retain a minority stake in Brightstar, the companies said.

Brightstar Corp was founded in 1997 by Marcelo Claure, who currently serves as SoftBank’s chief operating officer. SoftBank took a majority stake in the company in 2013, a deal worth $1.26 billion at the time. In 2018, Claure became SoftBank COO.

Brightstar’s wireless business spans the wireless ecosystem, serving carrier, retail, and enterprise customers in about 50 countries. The company provides integrated services, including device protection insurance, supply chain management and trade-in services.

BCP Acquires Brightstar From SoftBank

Andrew Weinberg, Founder and CEO, BCP
Andrew Weinberg, Founder and CEO, BCP
Rod Millar, CEO, Brightstar

Andrew Weinberg, BCP founder and CEO, commented on the deal:

"We are thrilled to renew our relationship with Brightstar as it continues to build on the increasing importance of mobile technology around the world. Having served as investors and operators in this industry for nearly two decades, including valuable time spent on the company's board, we're confident that our experience and commitment will help Brightstar continue to provide innovative services to the global wireless industry."

Rod Millar, CEO of Brightstar, added:

"Brightstar has always been committed to delivering innovative products and services and exceptional customer value – a tradition we've continued through recent significant investments in our operations, technology, and people. Our partnership with BCP provides us with additional resources and relationships to foster our continued growth and capitalize on the vast market opportunities in mobility and handset protection. We are excited to join forces with such a proven team to further enhance our service offerings and expand our market leadership."

Marcelo Claure, founder of Brightstar and COO of SoftBank Group, concluded:

"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 am excited for an even brighter future. SoftBank looks forward to partnering with BCP as Brightstar enters into its next phase of growth."

SoftBank’s Sales

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank has been moving to sell assets to mitigate losses and raise cash to fund share buybacks and debt redemptions, the Wall Street Journal reported.

SoftBank began looking to sell BrightStar in 2018, around the time Reuters reported that Brightstar was expected to generate roughly $150 million in annual EBITDA.

But this deal isn't even SoftBank’s biggest sale this month. Earlier in September, SoftBank announced it was close to selling off its stake in British chip designer Arm to chipmaker Nvidia for an eye-popping $40 billion. That deal is expected to face close regulatory scrutiny in the United States, Europe and China, amid other regions.