SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son is seeking to raise 2.4 trillion yen ($21.1 billion) in an initial public offering of his Japanese telecom business that could be the country’s largest IPO yet.
The Japanese technology giant said Monday it will sell 1.6 billion shares -- about one third of the business -- at 1,500 yen apiece in a new entity, SoftBank Corp., that will start trading on Dec. 19.
SoftBank’s domestic telecommunications business spans wireless, broadband and fixed-line services and its brand is widely recognized with storefronts throughout the country. It’s the third-largest wireless operator behind NTT Docomo Inc. and KDDI Corp., but SoftBank has a reputation for innovation and low prices.
SoftBank is looking to tempt investors with a very high dividend payout ratio of about 85 percent of net income, according to the filing. Based on net income in the last fiscal year, that would work out to an almost 5 percent yield at the indicated IPO price.
The IPO price range will be set on Nov. 30, followed by the final price on Dec. 10. SoftBank has picked Nomura Holdings Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Mizuho Financial Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. among joint global coordinators.
Son transforming SoftBank from a telecom operator into a global investment company, with stakes in marquee startups such as Uber Technologies Inc. and WeWork Cos.
He wants more cash to bet big on technology. He has said that he sees unprecedented opportunity in technologies from artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things. Last year, he formed the $100 billion Vision Fund with money from Saudi Arabia, Apple Inc. and others , and he’s quickly become the biggest investor in technology.