SoftBank Group Corp. is looking to raise $23.5 billion from the initial public offering of its Japanese mobile unit, marking the largest IPO in Japan and the second largest global one after Alibaba. The shares of the mobile division, SoftBank Corp., were priced at 1,500 yen or $13 each, raising 2.65 trillion yen or $23.5 billion.
The stock market listing is the second largest one globally after Alibaba, which raised $25 billion at its IPO in 2014. The shares will begin trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on December 19. SoftBank issued close to 2 billion shares, which included an extra 160 million shares, which were issued due to strong investor demand. 80% of the shares were offered to domestic retail investors.
The IPO will provide SoftBank Group Corp. the financial flexibility to acquire stakes in other lucrative projects. SoftBank has invested in several leading companies and start-ups through its $100 billion Vision Fund, giving it a prominent presence in the technology industry.
Some of SoftBank’s investments include Uber, GM Cruise and most recently, a start-up named WeWork. However, SoftBank has its share of challenges with regards to government policies and mobile phone charges. The company also faced some controversy due to its connections with Saudi Arabia. Vision Fund has secured a generous investment from the nation.
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