SoftBank in talks to sell down T-Mobile U.S. stake to Deutsche Telekom: WSJ

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp is in talks to sell “a significant portion” of its T-Mobile US stake to controlling shareholder Deutsche Telekom AG, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources.

A deal would see Deutsche Telekom’s stake in the carrier, which merged with SoftBank’s wireless unit Sprint last month, rise above 50%, the newspaper reported.

It did not say how much of SoftBank’s 24% stake in T-Mobile US the Japanese conglomerate was planning to sell down, nor how much it would raise for it.

SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom were not immediately available for comment.

SoftBank is widely expected to try and monetise its T-Mobile stake as it looks to raise $41 billion through asset sales to prop up its floundering tech investing empire and fund a record share buyback.

Lock-up provisions agreed to as part of the merger would likely be altered to permit the transaction, the WSJ said.

SoftBank’s shares were up 1.8% in early afternoon trading, largely unchanged from earlier in the day.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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