According to recent filings, Japanese company SoftBank Group Corp is set to raise $23.5 billion from the IPO of its Japanese mobile business. At this amount, the SoftBank IPO will be the largest amount ever raised in a Japanese IPO.
The SoftBank IPO is a Huge Offering By a Huge Company
At $23.5 billion the SoftBank IPO will be the largest in Japanese history and the largest anywhere since Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO in 2014. In a statement on Monday, SoftBank affirmed it intends to offer 1.76 billion shares in the SoftBank mobile unit at 1,500 yen ($13) per share, with 160 million shares added on strong demand. The 1.76 billion shares represent more than a one-third stake in the telecom giant. The funds raised by the SoftBank IPO will allow SoftBank to continue its growing role as an investment firm which, at $100 billion, is already the world’s largest private equity tech fund.
SoftBank Has a History of Great Investments
SoftBank was originally founded in 1981 by Masayoshi Son as a computer parts store. In 1996, Son partnered with Yahoo! to create Yahoo! Japan which gained enormous traction. In 1999 SoftBank became a holding company, and in 2000 invested $20 million in the fledgling company, Alibaba. Today, SoftBank owns stakes in Sprint (ca.85%), Alibaba (29.5%), Uber (15%), WeWork (ca.22%), Nvidia (ca.5%), Slack (ca.5%), ParkJockey, and many others. As of last year, SoftBank controlled nearly $218 billion in assets (24.63 trillion Yen) and oversaw $79 billion (8.9 trillion Yen) in annual revenue.
Not All Smooth Sailing
The Softbank IPO has not been all smooth sailing however. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has draw criticism recently for his close ties to the Saudi Crowned Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the wake of the death of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Nearly half of SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund comes from Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, the SoftBank IPO seems ready to proceed as scheduled.
SoftBank is currently scheduled to debut on the Tokyo exchange on December 19th, 2018.