SoftBank is planning an initial public offering for its Japanese wireless business that could be worth about $30 billion, which would make it the largest IPO ever.
The company is talking to advisers about selling a third of the business in the IPO, but discussions are still preliminary, and the company’s final valuation will depend on feedback from investors, according to Bloomberg.
So far, the biggest market debut has been from Alibaba Group, which came out in 2014 with a $25 billion offering. SoftBank shareholders think the company’s technology partnerships and guaranteed dividend yield could help it achieve a higher valuation.
Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank who famously backed Alibaba’s young CEO Jack Ma, said in a presentation on Monday that he is aiming for a Tokyo Stock Exchange listing. This could arrive as soon as the fourth quarter.
Son has been focusing more on investments lately, putting money into the ride-hailing and co-working industries, and trying to offload some of the company’s mobile assets. The company agreed to invest $4.4 billion in WeWork last year and has provided Compass with $450 million. [Bloomberg] – Eddie Small