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Shares in SoftBank rose as much as 1.2 per cent during early trading in Tokyo after it was reported it plans to merge OneWeb, the start-up it backs, with commercial satellite operator Intelsat in the latest deal for the Japanese telecommunications company.

The deal is expected to include a capital injection of $1.7bn into heavily indebted Intelsat, which is one of the world’s largest satellite operators. Startup OneWeb raised $1.2 billion in December from investors including SoftBank to launch a satellite network to bring internet access to remote regions.

This is the latest in a string of deals by SoftBank following a $3.3bn aquisition of US asset manager Fortress earlier this month and $32bn spent to acquire UK chip designer last year. SoftBank is also set to launch its $100bn technology fund.

Shares pared early gains to be up 0.1 per cent, underperforming the benchmark Topix, which was up 0.9 per cent.

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