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SoftBank planning asset sales
Posted on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 07:19
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank has announced the planned sale of assets worth a combined JPY 4,500 billion (USD 40.83 billion) in a bid to raise funds for a share buyback.
The company said it will carry out the divestments over the next year, but stopped short of identifying exactly which activities are likely to be put on the block.
However, Reuters cited analyst Kirk Boodry of Redex Holdings as saying that the company’s holding in the merged Sprint and T-Mobile US could be put up for sale, as could Alibaba.
In addition to financing a share buyback, proceeds of the divestments will be used to repay some of SoftBank’s debts.
Reuters noted that the original plan was to fund the repurchase of stock using debt, but this news was received negatively by the firm’s shareholders.
SoftBank had interest bearing debt of JPY 5,352 billion as of the end of Q3 2019, up from JPY 4,729 billion at the end of Q2.
The Tokyo-headquartered firm was founded in 1986 and now employs some 17,100 people.
According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, SoftBank’s most recent asset sale was announced in December, when it agreed to offload investment holding company Shiodome Z Holdings to Line for JPY 951.44 billion.
This was preceded by the sale of its 44.6 per cent shareholding in Z Holdings to Shiodome Z Holdings for JPY 739.63 billion in November.
Prior to that, it jettisoned SB Media Holdings to Roppongi Bunkatsu Junbi, a newly-formed SoftBank subsidiary, as part of a restructuring deal.
Zephyr shows there have been 44 deals worth a combined USD 6.27 billion targeting wireless telecommunications carriers announced worldwide since the beginning of 2020; in the whole of 2019, the figure stood at 524 deals with an aggregate value of USD 71.30 billion.
The largest such transaction of 2020 to date is worth USD 1.76 billion and involved Rostelekom picking up the remaining 55.0 per cent stake it did not already own in Tele2.
© Zephus Ltd