SoftBank Group of Japan is in talks to sell a significant stake in T-Mobile US to controlling shareholder Deutsche Telekom of Germany, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Deutsche Telekom in April said it will hold a stake of around 43 percent in the new T-Mobile, the merged entity between T-Mobile US and Sprint. SoftBank’s share in the merged entity will be around 24 percent. The balance 33 percent of shares in the new T-Mobile US are held by outside shareholders.
A deal would see Deutsche Telekom’s equity stake in the carrier, which merged with SoftBank’s wireless unit Sprint last month, rise above 50 percent, the newspaper reported.
It did not say how much of SoftBank’s 24 percent stake in T-Mobile US the Japanese conglomerate was planning to sell down.
SoftBank is widely expected to try and monetise its T-Mobile stake as it looks to raise $41 billion through asset sales to prop up its floundering tech investing empire and fund a record share buyback.
Lock-up provisions agreed to as part of the merger would likely be altered to permit the transaction.
SoftBank Group reported $18 billion loss at its giant Vision Fund, pushing Masayoshi Son’s conglomerate to a record loss and highlighting the deepening crisis at its portfolio companies from the global downturn.
The 1.9 trillion yen ($18 billion) operating shortfall at the Saudi-backed Vision Fund, including loss of almost $10 billion at office-sharing firm WeWork and ride- hailing app Uber Technologies alone, left SoftBank with its worst annual loss of 1.4 trillion yen.