Z Holdings launched a new era on March 1, 2021, with the business integration of Z Holdings Corporation and LINE Corporation. The integration catapulted Z Holdings to one of Japan’s largest Internet platform operator covering virtually every Internet user in the country. The integration creates numerous potential synergies that we will maximize to further enhance our corporate value.
Z Holdings has introduced a steady stream of new services that harness the power of the Internet to provide real solutions that have increased the convenience in society and people’s lives. The integration of Z Holdings and LINE enables us to create even more value for society by enhancing our ability to provide solutions in two ways.
The first way is by incorporating AI to our current services. We will inject AI to all of our businesses in commerce, advertising, and local and vertical services, fintech and other areas. This will vastly improve the convenience and advantages of our services for users while also improving the profitability of each business.
The second way is by enabling us to extend into new business areas. Our main focus will be on deepening the use of digitalization in Japan’s public welfare services, which is said to have fallen behind other countries. We will actively work with the government to promote digital transformation of public services while also accelerating our growth in the medical field, which is a huge market, and into the field of disaster prevention and mitigation, which is becoming increasingly vital for society.
The post-merger integration (PMI) is often said to be the most important element to a successful integration. As Internet companies, Z Holdings and LINE already share many attributes in our corporate cultures, including our principles of behavior as well as the rhythm of our work styles. In addition, the need to conduct meetings online during the pandemic has given us many more opportunities to communicate with each other than would be usual under normal conditions. Our mutual understanding continues to deepen through the daily discussions between our many departments and company levels and we are confident that we are forming a smooth-running management structure.
We are also taking the integration as an opportunity to revise and fortify our corporate governance system. The new Z Holdings Board of Directors is composed of three members each from LINE and Z Holdings Corporation and four independent outside directors. The outside directors bring high-level expertise and knowledge from various fields from which they will provide an objective perspective from an independent viewpoint on the Company’s management representing the common interest of minority shareholders and all shareholders.
We are budgeting approximately ¥500 billion for strategic investment in the next five years. The largest investment will be in AI, where we will step up investment in the hardware essential for strengthening our AI capabilities. We are also considering dramatically expanding our workforce around the world. Another focus area will be global expansion by building on LINE’s overseas operations in Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Finally, we would like to urge all of our shareholders and investors to use our services. In addition to Yahoo! JAPAN and LINE, the Group also operates ZOZO, ASKUL, PayPay, and other services designed specifically for convenience and user satisfaction. When using our services, we invite you to share with us your thoughts and suggestions about anything you think could be improved or added. We raise our corporate value by listening to your feedback. The integration is a major step toward a bright future, and we look forward to your support as Z Holdings enters a new era in its corporate development.
Kentaro Kawabe, President and Representative Director, Co-CEO, Z Holdings Corporation
Takeshi Idezawa, Representative Director, Co-CEO, Z Holdings Corporation