SoftBank IPO Is Said to Seek $18 Billion From Retail Investors

SoftBank IPO Is Said to Seek $18 Billion From Retail Investors

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SoftBank is seeking to raise a record 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) from Japanese individuals in the initial public offering of its mobile phone unit, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

Nomura Holdings, a joint global coordinator, will sell the biggest part of the shares to the retail investors, part of an IPO that could raise about 3 trillion yen in total, said the people, asking not to be named because the target is private. SoftBank will announce the details for the debut sale as early as next week, they said.

The amount of IPO stock allocated to individuals varies from country to country with institutions often taking a majority and retail investors settling for the leftovers. SoftBank’s target suggests the company’s bankers anticipate strong demand from Japan’s yield-starved individuals. CEO Masayoshi Son plans to pay healthy dividends to attract investors.

The size of the IPO may change or the listing could be delayed if there are further disruptions in the market, the people said. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average has fallen about 7 percent since October, and rival NTT Docomo set off a plunge in wireless operator shares last week by saying it may cut phone rates 40 percent after Japan’s government pressed for reductions.

The size of the sale to retail investors would be a record in Japan, exceeding the IPOs for Japan Post Holdings in 2015 and NTT Docomo in 1998, which each raised about 1 trillion yen from individuals. SoftBank is seeking to sell about 2.5 trillion yen to 3 trillion yen of shares in the mobile unit, whose market value would be about 8 trillion yen, the people said. The mobile operator plans to start marketing this month and list the shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Dec. 19.

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