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November 10, 1995

SOFTBANK FINALLY GETS MAGAZINE EMPIRE IT WANTED

By CBR Staff Writer

A year ago, Softbank Corp of Tokyo bought the exhibitions business of Ziff Communications Corp, but what it really wanted was Ziff-Davis Publishing, and now it has it – and it won it with an offer of $1,800m, rather less than observers had hazarded. It says its recent share issue raised 40% of the cash needed, and that the other 60% will come from a loan from the Softbank parent company. The acquisition will create the largest integrated magazine publisher and trade show organiser in the computer industry, and cause a huge jump in group profit at Softbank. It is buying 94% from Forstmann Little & Co, which paid $1,400m for it last year, and 6% from the Ziff family. The company has estimated 1995 turnover of about $1,000m. The group aims for 1,000 titles by 2005, compared with 130 in 1995. It looks a good deal for Forstmann, but the rise in the yen since last year means it costs Softbank very little more.

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