SoftBank Eyes $18 Billion IPO For Its Wireless Division
Reports are going around that Softbank is intending to list the mobile phone unit SoftBank Corp. in Tokyo and abroad this year. Any potential public offering would be a massive money generator with some estimating that it could bring in 2 trillion yen, which is about $18 billion. SoftBank has the potential to be one of the largest ever IPOs for a Japanese company.
SoftBank reportedly intended to apply to the Tokyo Stock Exchange as early as this Spring and to begin trading this fall. While the company starts trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the company also hopes to list stock overseas, possibly in London, at the same time.
Reports indicate that SoftBank Group plans to sell about 30% of outstanding shared in the subsidiary to investors leaving it holding 70% of the company. If the SoftBank Corp. IPO raises at least 2.2 trillion yen, that would rival the record setting IPO from 1987 of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.
SoftBank has been growing over the last years with a major acquisition in 2004 when it gobbled up Japan Telecom, which was previously the Japanese arm of Vodafone. SoftBank also owns Sprint after purchasing it in 2013 and it purchased ARM Holdings in 2016. SoftBank created a Vision Fund with the Saudi Arabian government and others last year with $93 billion in funding that is based in London. That is the reason SoftBank is said to be eyeing a London stock offering as well.
Nikkei writes, "TSE rules stipulate that when a subsidiary of a listed company goes public on the first section, the parent's stake must be less than 65%. However, this requirement can be eased if the company lists overseas as well."