SoftBank to sell off USD41bn of assets to shore up stock, slash debt

24 Mar 2020

SoftBank Group Corp has announced a JPY4.5 trillion (USD41 billion) programme to divest assets and stabilise its deteriorating market value in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reports. In a bid to shore up his company’s position, billionaire owner Masayoshi Son aims to buy back stock and slash debt amid concerns that ‘tumbling technology sector valuations’ will undermine the entrepreneur’s debt-laden company. SoftBank, which has established its USD100 billion Vision Fund, is considered particularly exposed to economic shocks, given its backing of numerous as-yet unprofitable start-ups across the globe. Its stock price rallied 19% following the announcement, but still remains down more than 40% from this year’s peak in February. Bloomberg notes that the COVID-19 panic has ‘also spread to credit markets and sparked a surge in the cost of insuring debt against default – including that of SoftBank, whose credit-default swaps touched their highest level in about a decade’. It is unclear at this time, however, what SoftBank intends to sell.

Japan, SoftBank Group Corp