SoftBank to slash wireless carrier stake to 40%; could raise $14 billion

Reuters Tokyo | Updated on August 28, 2020

Softbank’s offer price for the 1.03 billion shares, including an over-allotment, will be set September 14-16   -  REUTERS

Marks expansion of asset sales beyond March’s Y4.5 trillion plan

SoftBank Group Corp said on Friday it planned to slash its exposure to wireless carrier SoftBank Corp in a share sale worth 1.47 trillion yen ($13.8 billion) at Friday’s close, marking an expansion of the conglomerate’s asset sales.

The sale will see SoftBank’s stake fall to 40.4 per cent from 62.1 per cent. The offer price for the 1.03 billion shares, including an over-allotment, will be set September 14-16.

SoftBank Group Chief Executive Masayoshi Son has been selling down the group’s core assets to stabilise its balance sheet and fund a record share buyback amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement marks the expansion of stake sales beyond the 4.5 trillion yen asset sale plan announced in March. One-off gains from the sales boosted the group’s earnings in the April-June quarter.

“In light of the ongoing uncertainty in the market environment due to concerns about a potential second or even third wave of Covid-19, (SoftBank Group) believes it is necessary to expand cash reserves,” the group said in a statement.

Japan’s third-biggest wireless carrier will remain a group subsidiary, SoftBank said, fitting a pattern of the conglomerate exerting influence over listed investments without holding majority stakes.

SoftBank said it will hold the remaining shares “for the medium to long term”. Son built up the wireless carrier but in recent years has refocused on tech investing.

Buyback plan

Separately on Friday, SoftBank Corp said it will spend up to 100 billion yen buying back its shares, which have languished even as its parent’s share price has leapt around 140 per cent since March.

SoftBank Corp’s shares closed down 1.6 per cent at 1,431 yen on Friday ahead of the announcement.

Published on August 28, 2020

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like