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SoftBank Seeks To Raise $21 Bln From Mobile Unit IPO

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Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. (SFTBF.PK) said Monday it has received approval from the Tokyo Stock Exchange for listing of common stock of its Japanese mobile telecoms unit, SoftBank Corp.

SoftBank plans to sell shares worth 2.4 trillion yen, or $21 billion, in its domestic mobile telecom unit. This would make it the world's biggest initial public offering or IPO after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group's (BABA) $25 billion IPO in 2014.

According to Dealogic, Japan's largest IPO to date is that of NTT Mobile Communications Network, which raised 2.12 trillion yen in 1998.

SoftBank Group expanded in Japan with telecommunications as its main business. However, under Chief Executive Masayoshi Son, it is now more of a technology investment company following the acquisition of U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Corp. (S) in 2013 and UK-based chip designer ARM Holdings plc (ARM.L, ARMH) in 2016, in addition to creating the $93 billion Vision Fund.

The company has also invested in ride-hailing company Uber Technologies and Alibaba.

SoftBank is selling 1.60 billion shares of SoftBank Corp. at a price of 1,500 yen each to raise 2.4 trillion yen. This will result in a market value for the mobile unit of 7.2 trillion yen, or $63 billion.

In the event of strong investor demand, SoftBank will have the option to sell an additional 160.37 million shares of common stock, worth 240.6 billion yen. That would put the size of the IPO at more than $23 billion.

SoftBank said its price of 1,500 yen per share is tentative and a final decision will be taken on December 10. SoftBank will retain a 66.5 percent stake in the newly listed unit.

SoftBank Corp. is expected to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on December 19, 2018.

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