SoftBank gets approval for $21b IPO of Japanese unit

13 Nov 2018

Japan's SoftBank has secured approval to conduct an IPO of its Japanese telecoms business worth around 2.4 trillion yen ($21.08 billion).

The company has secured approval to list its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on December 19.

SoftBank plans to sell 1.6 billion shares at an indicative price of 1,500 yen, which would give SoftBank Mobile a market value of 7.18 trillion yen ($63 billion).

If demand is strong SoftBank plans to offer an overallotment of 160 million shares worth an additional 240.6 billion yen. This would make the IPO one of the largest ever, and put its total value close to the $25 billion raised by Alibaba's record public offer in 2014.

SoftBank is pursuing the IPO in light of its recent change in focus towards investing in global technology startups through the $100 billion Vision Fund.

Listing the mobile business will give investors a choice between investing in a stable, mature telecoms business or the more high-risk, high-reward Vision Fund investments in unproven startups and technologies.

After the IPO, SoftBank's stake in its domestic telecoms business will be diluted to 63.14%, from the current 99.99%. But SoftBank said in a statement that it intends to maintain the company “as an important consolidated subsidiary in [the] telecommunications business of the Group after the listing.”

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