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SoftBank Considering an IPO for Japanese Telecom Business, Plans to Raise $18 Billion

SoftBank planning to raise $18 billion through IPO

The Japanese telecom giant and global investor, SoftBank Group Crop, is all set to spin-off its wireless business by listing it on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO), according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei.  The Japanese Conglomerate is reportedly planning to sell off 30 percent stake through an IPO and raise $18 billion (2 trillion yen). This IPO would be the biggest the one by any Japanese company in over two decades and would potentially transform SoftBank into one of the biggest global tech investors.

SoftBank shares rose almost 4 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO) on the back of spin-off news. The Japanese Conglomerate owns stakes in some of the most valued companies in the world, including Sprint Corp and Alibaba group, as well as multitudes of high-profile startups. It has also recently created a whopping $93 billion Vision Fund for investing in some of the most promising tech companies, with the primary focus being on companies that are driven by new age technologies like artificial intelligence and deep learning.

SoftBank is planning to seek an official green signal from TYO for listing pretty soon and aims to make a grand debut on the Tokyo as well as international markets – most probably on London Stock Exchange – by around autumn, Japanese newspaper claimed.

Although SoftBank has said that it has so far not made any final decision over the IPO but maintained that listing is certainly an option to infuse more capital into the business.

Industry experts claim that spinning off mobile phone into an independent business entity through an IPO makes sense, since it would pave way for more capital without SoftBank having to lose substantial stake over one of its primary businesses.

Owing to its highly complicated investment structure, SoftBank has become one of the most sought-after case studies in the investor community. In the past, many investors and investment firms have tried to evaluate the valuation of this Japanese juggernaut, but the exercise proved to be too mind-boggling and at times too confusing.

For instance, according to current estimates, SoftBank’s market valuation stands at approximately $92 billion. Interestingly, this valuation is far less than its investment in Alibaba Group, which stands at approximately $140 billion.

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