SoftBank considers selling T-Mobile US shares to cut debts; completes USD4.7bn share buyback

16 Jun 2020

Japanese newspaper The Mainichi writes that multinational conglomerate holding company SoftBank Group Corp is considering selling its shares in T-Mobile US as it looks to raise up to JPY4.5 trillion (USD41 billion) to buy back its own stock and trim debt. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month SoftBank held talks to sell ‘a significant portion’ of its stake in the US carrier to controlling shareholder Deutsche Telekom (DT) of Germany. It is also understood that any potential deal could involve other transactions and that here, SoftBank ‘is exploring transactions with respect to shares of T-Mobile common stock, including, private placements or public offerings; transactions with T-Mobile or stockholders of T-Mobile, including DT, or third parties; derivative or hedging transactions; margin loans; or other structured transactions,’ it said.

TeleGeography notes that the long-running mega-merger between T-Mobile US and Sprint concluded on 1 April this year. SoftBank currently has around a 25% stake in T-Mobile, while the German group owns around 44%.

Separately, SoftBank Group Corp has announced the completion of its share buyback programme as it looks to shore up its share price against losses in its various investment businesses. The Tokyo-based company led by founder Masayoshi Son has bought USD4.7 billion of its own stock since March 2020, using the ‘entire budget for re-purchases slated to run through next March’. In a statement dated 15 June, SoftBank confirmed it had purchased 107,679,300 shares of its own stock by that date.

Japan, United States, Deutsche Telekom (DT), SoftBank Group Corp, T-Mobile US