SoftBank to sell US$3.1 billion worth of Japan telco unit stake

SoftBank to sell US$3.1 billion worth of Japan telco unit stake

People walk behind the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo
People walk behind the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files

TOKYO: SoftBank Group Corp said it plans to sell 5 per cent of its domestic telco SoftBank Corp, currently worth US$3.1 billion, as part of a programme to raise US$41 billion through asset sales.

The sale of 240 million shares for a yet to be determined price and set to close on May 26 will leave SoftBank Group with a 62.1 per cent stake in Japan's third-largest wireless carrier.

SoftBank Corp's shares closed down 0.8 per cent on Friday ahead of the announcement at ¥1,375, giving a 5 per cent stake a market valuation of ¥330 billion (US$3.1 billion).

SoftBank needs cash for a record stock buyback aimed at supporting the price of its shares, which have been used by Chief Executive Masayoshi Son as collateral for loans, as its tech investments falter.

It is in talks to raise about US$20 billion by selling part of its stake in T-Mobile US Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

The conglomerate also said on Monday it plans to raise ¥1.25 trillion by monetising part of its stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd through derivative contracts.

SoftBank reported a record annual operating loss this week as investments via its US$100 billion Vision Fund flounder, with Son forced to sell down core assets from his portfolio to shore up the balance sheet and restore investor confidence.

Source: Reuters

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