SoftBank phone unit taps banks for first bond sale since listing

The SoftBank Group Corp. logo is displayed inside the lobby of a building which houses the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The Japanese telecom business of Masayoshi Son’s technology conglomerate mandated banks for its first domestic bond sale since listing in 2018, people familiar with the matter said.

SoftBank Corp. will seek to price yen-denominated bonds before March 31, Japan’s fiscal year-end, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The company registered Friday to sell as much as 1 trillion yen ($9.1 billion) of debt.

Son sold a stake in the domestic telecoms business in 2018 to fund further investments. He has been transforming parent SoftBank Group Corp. into one of the world’s biggest technology investors. A multi-billion-dollar write-down of the parent’s investment in office-sharing startup WeWork last year caused some investors to question Son’s strategy for generating cash from investments to keep servicing its massive debt pile.

Despite SoftBank Group’s recent investment woes, the company’s huge unrealized gains from its holding in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has insulated its share price and debt from any large sell-off.

A spokesperson for SoftBank said that the company is considering issuing bonds, but hasn’t yet decided details.

Bloomberg

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.