SoftBank paused share repurchases in August, ahead of major asset sales

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

SoftBank Group Corp paused share repurchases on Aug. 4-31 ahead of major asset sales announcements, a stock exchange filing showed on Tuesday, in a drop-off in support for the stock after spending 1 trillion yen ($9.4 billion) since March.

The Japanese conglomerate “determined that there were facts that could be classified as non-public material facts under insider trading regulation,” it said in the filing.

The group announced a major cut in its stake in wireless unit SoftBank Corp on Aug. 28, followed by the sale of chip designer Arm to Nvidia Corp on Sept. 14.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on whether SoftBank is again in a position to buy back shares.

Buybacks have been a major driver for SoftBank‘s shares, which climbed 160% from March lows to peak on Aug. 3 when they closed at 6,932 yen. The shares have since fallen around 8%, and closed flat on Tuesday.

SoftBank previously signalled a slowdown in the pace of its remaining 1.5 trillion yen worth of planned stock repurchases.

The group has been selling assets to fund the buybacks and raise cash. SoftBank has invested in publicly traded tech stocks and, sources told Reuters, in equity derivatives.

Executives are frustrated with SoftBank‘s share performance and have held early stage talks on taking the group private, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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.