SoftBank won approval to launch an IPO of its domestic Japanese mobile unit, which could become one of the country’s largest-ever listings in terms of value.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange approved the IPO today (12 November), as expected, with the process scheduled to be held on 19 December. SoftBank said it aims to raise JPY2.4 trillion ($21 billion) through the issue of 1.6 billion shares priced at JPY1,500 each, with a provision for an over-allotment of additional shares worth JPY240 billion in the event demand is high.
First officially announced in July, SoftBank’s IPO will help the company pay down debt, while also raising cash for its $100 billion technology Vision Fund, a long-term investment vehicle designed to enable the company to make big bets on future and emerging technology.
SoftBank is set to retain a 66.5 per cent stake in the Japanese mobile unit, depending on the over-allotment.
SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son reportedly harboured hopes of surpassing the $25 billion raised in an IPO by China-based Alibaba, which is reckoned to be among the largest floats in history. However, Son’s ambitions were apparently curtailed after major Japanese rival NTT Docomo announced it would slash fees by as much as 40 per cent, igniting concerns about a price war in the country.
In the build to up the IPO, investors have also been concerned about a lack of clarity regarding some of the investments made by the Vision Fund along with an over-reliance on backing from Saudi Arabia, with the country currently embroiled in diplomatic controversy.
The final IPO price will be determined on 10 December.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back