SoftBank says ‘no decision has been made’ about subsidiary IPO


Japanese technology giant SoftBank Group has confirmed that it’s considering spinning out its domestic wireless subsidiary in a separate public listing, but added that no final decision has been made.

SoftBank Corp., known as SoftBank Mobile Corp. before it expanded into fixed-line telecommunications via a merger in 2015, would seek up to $ 18 billion through the sale of 30 percent of the business to investors (with SofBank Group retaining the remaining 70 percent), according to a report earlier today in Nikkei Asian Review. The IPO would reportedly take place on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and there would be scope for an additional listing in London.

Responding to the report, SoftBank said that it’s “always studying various capital strategy options” and that selling SoftBank Corp. shares to the public would be “one such option.” But the company stressed that “no decision has been made to officially proceed with this course,” and it didn’t confirm any specific plans.

The parent SoftBank company has been spreading its wings through overseas investments in recent years, snapping up U.S. wireless company Sprint in a $ 21.6 billion deal back in 2013 before acquiring U.K.-based chipmaker ARM for $ 32 billion a few years later. In 2017, SoftBank changed the venture capital game somewhat with a series of major global investments as part of its $ 100 billion “vision fund.” Late last year, the company also confirmed it was spearheading a major $ 9 billion investment in Uber.

By spinning off its telecoms subsidiary into a public company, SoftBank could raise significant capital to invest in technology both at home and overseas.

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