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Softbank to Spend as Much as 25 Billion Yen on Gungho Stake

Softbank Corp., the Japanese wireless carrier run by billionaire Masayoshi Son, will spend as much as 25 billion yen ($264 million) to raise its stake in Gungho Online Entertainment Inc. to tap demand for mobile games.

The carrier will acquire as many as 73,400 Gungho shares for 340,276 yen each from Asian Groove Inc., the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. Asian Groove is run by Taizo Son, the younger brother of the Softbank President.

Softbank, which agreed to buy a $20 billion stake in Sprint Nextel Corp. in October, is trying to add more content to speed up its growth. Shares of Gungho have surged fivefold this year on rising popularity of its “Puzzle & Dragons” game.

Softbank rose 3.2 percent to 3,880 yen in Tokyo trading. Gungho slumped 5.8 percent to 4.35 million yen.

Gungho will conduct a 10-for-1 share split in April and Softbank will acquire the Asian Groove stake after then, the wireless carrier said in a statement today.

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