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Japan's SoftBank to sell USD7.9B stake in Alibaba
« on: March 07, 2017, 03:07:33 PM »
Japan's SoftBank to sell USD7.9B stake in Alibaba
TOKYO, June 1 (PNA/Xinhua) -- Japan's mobile telecommunications behemoth SoftBank Group Corp. will sell a long-held investment worth USD7.9 billion in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to enhance its fiscal situation, as it eyes, in part, in rehabilitating its activities in its U.S. communications market, local media said Wednesday.

SoftBank said it will continue to keep 28 percent from its 32.2 percent stake in Alibaba, which at market rates is currently worth around USD50 billion, and will sell its stock to interested parties to raise capital, with the transactions expected to take place relatively soon and possibly within a few weeks.

After the stock sale however, SoftBank, controlled by billionaire Masayoshi Son, will still be the largest shareholder of the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut and sources from both parties stated that Son and Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma will both continue to serve as board members of each others' firms

SoftBank said that its decision to sell its shares in Alibaba had nothing to do with a recent accounting probe into Alibaba by the U.S. authorities and said that the move was purely driven by its plans for capital restructuring and moves toward deleveraging its position and bolstering investor sentiment.

In 2013, SoftBank bought a major stake in Sprint, a U.S. telecommunications holding company that provides wireless services and is a major global internet carrier, for USD21.6 billion.

The move by SoftBank was to forge its way into a relatively saturated U.S. wireless market, but Sprint has performed poorly since SoftBank's buy-in and has been struggling with mounting debts, an ever-eroding consumer base as well as outgoings to augment its network.

As such, the adverse financial conditions have ticked over to SoftBank, with those close to the matter saying its move with Alibaba is aimed at proactively consolidating its finances, while attempting to renew slumping investor confidence. (PNA/Xinhua)

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