Softbank is reportedly selling part of its stake in T-Mobile through a secondary offering, which is likely to be underwritten by Goldman Sachs and Stanley Morgan. According to Bloomberg, the deal will involve the conglomerate selling part of its stake to Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent company.
If the sale comes through, T-Mobile could end up becoming a much needed lifeboat to Softbank, given its investment losses in the past year. The conglomerate’s first-quarter earnings report revealed an operating loss of 1.3 trillion yen which was the result of a 1.9 trillion yen write down in the positions of its vision fund. This was in stark contrast to the $12.5bn in possible gains that Softbank had reported last year. Thus, to do some level of damage control, the company announced plans to sell up $41 billion of its assets to buy back shares and pay down debt.
For the sale of assets, T-Mobile appears to be almost an obvious candidate. The US wireless operator recently combined with SoftBank portfolio company Sprint which gave Softbank 25% of the company’s shares. Deutsche Telekom on the other hand currently owns 44% of the wireless operator.
The market value of T-mobile stands at $126 billion which means SoftBanks’s stake is worth about $31 billion, while Deutsche Telekom’s is about $55 billion. According to Bloomberg, if the proposed sale goes through, Softbank will sell part of its T-mobile ownership to Deutsche Telekom, which would result in its majority ownership of T-Mobile. Softbank will then sell the rest of its stake in a secondary offering to other investors.
The other candidates for Softbank’s asset sales include its large equity stakes in Ali Baba and Softbank Corp., an independently operated Japan –based wireless communications company.