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SoftBank’s Sale of Wireless Stock Said to Draw Excess Demand

Takahiko Hyuga and Pavel Alpeyev
·2-min read

(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp.’s sale of 1.24 trillion yen ($11.8 billion) of stock in its domestic wireless arm met with robust demand from overseas and Japanese financial institutions, as well as individual investors in Japan, according to people familiar with the matter.

Foreign and domestic institutional investors sought more than five times as many shares than were for sale, said people involved in coordinating the transaction, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Demand from retail investors also exceeded the shares allocated.

The transaction, Japan’s biggest secondary share sale in two decades, is among the latest in a frenzy of deals unleashed by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son as the company looks to refill its coffers amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic. Son has already offloaded $13.7 billion of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. stock and a stake in T-Mobile US Inc. for about $20 billion. It also recently agreed to sell Arm Ltd. to Nvidia Corp. for about $40 billion. SoftBank is using some of the proceeds to pay down debt and is mid-way through a record 2.5 trillion yen of stock repurchases.

The Japanese firm earlier this week said it will sell SoftBank Corp. shares at 1,204.50 yen apiece, disposing about a third of its stake. SoftBank Corp.’s shares have climbed almost 3% since the announcement.

Nomura Holdings Inc., Daiwa Securities Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are the global coordinators on the deal. Nomura underwrote 35% of the domestic stock, followed by Daiwa with 30% and Mizuho’s 15%, according to the people. Overseas, Nomura, Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan had a 20% share each. The underwriters received 21.6 billion yen in fees, according to a spokesperson for SoftBank.

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