Billionaire Masayoshi Son announces $ 41 billion sale of SoftBank assets

Billionaire Masayoshi Son announced plans to sell $ 41 billion in SoftBank assets during the year. Since the start of the spread of coronavirus, SoftBank's stock price has fallen by 40%

Billionaire Masayoshi Son announces $ 41 billion sale of SoftBank assets

Billionaire Masayoshi Son (No. 2 in the ranking of Japan’s richest billionaires, according to Forbes Real-Time, is $ 16 billion) announced plans to sell $ 41 billion in assets of his SoftBank company during the year. At least $ 18 billion will be spent on repurchase shares and debt coverage, SoftBank said in a statement.

“This program will be the largest share buyback and lead to the largest increase in the cash balance in SoftBank history, which reflects a firm and unshakable confidence in our business,” said Son.

SBG currently has assets in excess of $ 245 billion. Which of these assets will be sold over the next four quarters is not mentioned in the statement. According to Bloomberg, SoftBank may sell part of its 26% stake in Alibaba. Other SoftBank assets include stakes in WeWork coworking operator, Uber taxi service, Slack messenger, Oyo Hotels hotel chain and Arm chip maker.

Holding shares on this news rose March 18 by 18.6%, which was the largest growth for the holding over the past 12 years. But this is still 40% lower than the peak value of SoftBank shares in February 2020. SoftBank, which manages the Vision fund with $ 100 billion worth of assets, is considered particularly vulnerable to economic shocks, given its huge debt burden and its connection with loss-making startups around the world, Bloomberg notes.

2019 began for SoftBank with the announcement of a record share buyback, which led to a jump in the price of securities to a maximum since 2000. But the subsequent unsuccessful Uber IPO and the cancellation of the listing on the exchange of the WeWork coworking network leveled this jump. In February 2020, Elliott Management, an American hedge fund, increased its stake in SoftBank by more than $ 2.5 billion.

Then it became known that SoftBank could not raise $ 108 billion for its new fund, Vision Fund II, the creation of which the company announced in the summer of 2019. According to WSJ sources, the amount of funds that SoftBank could raise may be half as much as expected, and therefore the company will have to independently finance the new structure.