SoftBank IPO hits US$23.5bn, second-largest stock market listing of all time

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group has listed its mobile unit, SoftBank Corp, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at a value of US$23.5bn

CNN Business said that this enormous IPO is the second largest ever, exceeded only by Alibaba’s $25bn listing in New York in 2014.

It added that the listing effectively splits SoftBank Group into two clearly defined units, offering investors a distinction between the mobile unit and its prolific tech investment arm.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund has become a flagship of this tech investment business, seeking to invest up to $100bn in promising firms to drive innovation and distribution of emergent devices, concepts and solutions.

Investees of the Vision Fund include Uber, NVIDIA, Flipkart, GM Cruise, Katerra, and Coupang.

Notably, the Vision Fund’s investment in Uber of $9.3bn marks the firm as the biggest stakeholder of one of the most valuable startups in the world, according to Recode.

Uber itself is reportedly planning to launch an IPO in 2019.

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Reuters said that concerns had been raised regarding oversupply, with SoftBank issuing almost 2bn shares, as the company is regarded as having reached a growth plateau.

Nonetheless, SoftBank issued additional shares to meet demand. 

“Demand was well above the number of shares on offer,” SoftBank Corp said, according to Reuters, though the specifics of this stock shortage remain undisclosed.

SoftBank Corp will debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on 19 December 2018.

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