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SoftBank Ponders IPO

The Japanese conglomerate is thinking about spinning off its telecoms business.

Editor’s Remarks: SoftBank is considering listing its domestic telecoms business on the Tokyo stock exchange to take advantage of a buoyant IPO market. Time is of the essence because the company’s founder, Masayoshi Son, wants a potential IPO to be before the planned float of Toshiba’s memory chip unit, which was bought last year by a Bain Capital-led consortium. The SoftBank IPO could be worth as much as $18bn according to bankers close to the matter. The sale is also motivated by SoftBank’s weak share price, which its founder feels is an overreaction to the company’s relatively high debt levels.

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