SoftBank to sell US$21 billion in T-Mobile shares

June 23, 2020 | 14:00
TOKYO: Japanese tech investment behemoth SoftBank Group said Tuesday (Jun 23) it will sell T-Mobile shares worth more than US$21 billion as it sheds assets to shore up its financial health.
softbank to sell us 21 billion in t mobile shares
SoftBank to sell US$21 billion in T-Mobile shares, Photo AFP

The move comes a month after SoftBank announced an eye-watering US$8.9 billion annual net loss, hit hard by troubles with its unicorn investments including WeWork, as well as market plunges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SoftBank Group, which holds about 24 per cent of the US telecom carrier, said it will sell up to 198.3 million of more than 300 million shares in a transaction involving the telecom firm itself.

The exact price of the sale will be determined later Tuesday during US trading hours, SoftBank said.

T-Mobile shares closed Monday at US$106.60, suggesting the sale would net SoftBank more than US$21 billion.

Deutsche Telekom AG, which already holds a 43 per cent stake in the mobile firm, will have the option to buy an additional 101.5 million shares from SoftBank, the Japanese firm said.

The series of planned transactions would leave SoftBank Group with less than one percent of the US carrier.

The Japanese firm said the move was a part of its plan to sell up to 4.5 trillion yen (US$41 billion) of assets within a year from March to reduce debts, as the firm faces financial storms including global market selloffs and soured investments.

SoftBank's flamboyant founder Masayoshi Son said his investment funds have seen operating losses of 1.9 trillion yen.

Originally set up as a telecoms company, SoftBank Group has become an investment and tech behemoth with stakes in some of Silicon Valley's hottest start-ups through its $100-billion Vision Fund.


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