Softbank is studying the IPO of its mobile subsidiary


by Yoshiyasu Shida and Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank is planning to introduce Exchange its subsidiary mobile phone SoftBank Corp, a transaction that may fetch $ 18 billion (€14.7 billion) and accelerate the transformation of the conglomerate japanese in one of the largest investors in the technology sector.

A split – potentially the largest IPO of a company of japanese in the last twenty years – would give the telecom operator more autonomy and would help investors make the most of it, as well as its parent company, owner of a slew of investments in the high tech.

Softbank (T:9984) wishes to put on the market 30% of the capital of the third mobile operator in the country, to raise around 2,000 billion yen, reported Nikkei, without giving sources.

The financial newspaper adds that the group will use the proceeds from this sale to invest for example in information technology companies, foreign.

“It makes sense to split by means of an IPO the business of mobile telephony, of which Softbank would retain control, while having more cash to continue its strategy of investing in company with high growth potential,” says Erik Gordon, a professor at the Ross School of Business at the university of Michigan.

“It is a way to obtain funds without increasing debt or diluting the holdings of Softbank in the business of growth.”

Softbank is seeking approval from the Tokyo stock Exchange as early as the spring continues, the Nikkei, stating that he aims for a listing in the fall in Tokyo, as well as abroad, possibly in London.

In a press release published Monday, SoftBank indicates that the Stock listing of its mobile business is one of the options but that no decision has yet been taken.

The operation would be of importance comparable to that of 2,200 billion yen of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, introduction of the stock Exchange in 1987, or 2,100 billion yen of NTT DoCoMo in 1998.

Large companies should place at least 35% of their capital if they want to introduce themselves to the Tokyo stock Exchange, but the rules may be relaxed in case of quotations with multiple.

The title of the conglomerate has finished up 3% on the Tokyo stock Exchange, after the publication of this information.

Its market capitalisation amounted to some us $ 92 billion. In comparison, the participation of nearly 30 percent it holds in the chinese giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is valued at some $ 140 billion dollars.

Softbank, the fund’s Vision is specialized in new technologies, also owned shares in the designer british chip ARM Holdings (LON:ARM) and the mobile operator american Sprint.

Vision, with 93 billion dollars, has entered the last month in the capital of Uber Technologies. [L8N1OS2XP]

(Danielle Rouquié and Catherine Mallebay-Vacqueur for French service, edited by Wilfrid Exbrayat)

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