SoftBank CEO says equity value back at pre-virus levels

FILE PHOTO: A journalist raises her hand to ask a question to Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 5, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said on Thursday the equity value of the group’s holdings has recovered to pre-coronavirus outbreak levels, in a defence of his investing reputation after the group was hammered by losses.

The rise in corporate value was driven by the growth of SoftBank’s stake is Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and following the successful merger of its U.S. wireless unit with T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O).

SoftBank has undertaken a complex transaction to divest part of its T-Mobile US stake to raise $20 billion. That brings the total from its asset sale programme, which includes monetisation of stakes in Alibaba and wireless carrier SoftBank Corp (9434.T), to $35 billion or 80% of the planned total, Son said.

Those funds are being allocated to share buybacks and to increase SoftBanks’s financial leeway.

Son’s group was hit with a record annual loss in the year ended March as his tech investments faltered.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman; Editing by Christopher Cushing

Source Article