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Business deals

SoftBank and Naver bid for Line shares gets lukewarm reception

Offer to buy out minority investors ends with less than half of shares tendered

SoftBank Group wants to merge its Z Holdings with Line, owned by South Korea's Naver. (Source photos by Wataru Ito and Manami Yamada) 

TOKYO -- A tender offer by SoftBank Corp and South Korea's Naver for shares in popular messaging app Line has had a lukewarm reception, after a boom in tech stocks prompted calls from some minority shareholders for a higher offer. 

SoftBank Corp, the Japanese telecommunications arm of SoftBank Group, teamed up with Naver last year to create a $30 billion internet giant by merging Naver-owned Line and SoftBank-owned Z Holdings. A joint tender offer to buy out Line minority shareholders was the first step in a complex merger that is expected to be completed next year. 

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