Briefing

SoftBank to sell up to US$41 billion in assets

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The Japanese technology investment group is using the sale to buy back up to 45 per cent of its outstanding shares, after its stock price plummeted over the past month. News of the buyback sent the stock up 18.61 per cent on Monday. (The Wall Street Journal)

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Talking point: The announcement is a sharp escalation of the firm’s earlier plans to buy back up to seven per cent of its shares. It follows pressure from activist investor Elliott Management for SoftBank to take steps to boost its share price amid the market selloff. It’s already scaled back some investment plans to stabilize its finances, including possibly backing out of the US$3 billion in bailout funding promised to WeWork in the wake of the office-share company’s meltdown late last year. The firm didn’t say which assets it’s considering selling, but analysts told The Wall Street Journal that its massive stakes in companies like Alibaba and in SoftBank Corporation, one of Japan’s largest cellphone carriers, are likely candidates.