Briefing

SoftBank held talks with Elliott Management and Mubadala about going private

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The talks took place over the weekend, but were abandoned in part over complications due to the size and complexity of the proposed deal, tax considerations and Tokyo listing rules. Instead, SoftBank is selling US$41 billion in assets, including US$14 billion in Alibaba stock. (Financial Times, Bloomberg)

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Talking point: The talks started after SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son heard that Elliott, the activist firm that’s been pressuring it to buy back its shares, was looking at increasing its stake in his firm. The asset sale comes after SoftBank shares lost about 50 per cent of their value over the past month. However, there are some signs things are turning around. SoftBank’s stock is up 12.34 per cent in late afternoon trading. Son is seeking to ride the surge, upping his stake from 25.5 per cent to 26.9 per cent on Tuesday, a pledge worth US$7.4 billion.