Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank Group Corp plans to offload 198.3 million shares in T-Mobile US, in a transaction worth around USD21 billion. The stake in question was inherited as a result of the recent merger between T-Mobile US and SoftBank-backed Sprint (see below). A statement issued by SoftBank notes: ‘Given the current situation where there is a concern for a second and third wave of spread of COVID-19, [SoftBank] believes that it needs to further enhance its cash reserves.’
For its part, T-Mobile has indicated that 133.5 million of the shares that form part of ‘SoftBank’s monetisation of its shareholding’ will be offered to the public. The shares are expected to be listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market effective 24 June 2020. Post-transaction, SoftBank will retain an 8.6% stake in T-Mobile US, while Deutsche Telekom’s (DT’s) stake will increase to 43.5%. (Note: DT has a call option to acquire the rest of SoftBank’s T-Mobile shares, which will expire in 2024.) Meanwhile, as per a T-Mobile US filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Marcelo Claure – the former CEO of Sprint, currently serving as SoftBank’s COO – will purchase five million T-Mobile shares.
TeleGeography notes that the long-running mega-merger between T-Mobile US and Sprint concluded on 1 April this year. Post-closing, DT and SoftBank held 43% and 24%, respectively, of the fully diluted New T-Mobile shares, with the remaining 33% held by public shareholders.