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Wed 25 Mar 2020 10:02 AM

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SoftBank said to have held talks with Mubadala, Elliott Management on going private

SoftBank instead decided to move ahead with a plan to sell assets to pay down debt and boost a share buyback

SoftBank said to have held talks with Mubadala, Elliott Management on going private

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son. Image: AFP/Getty Images

The SoftBank Group over the past week explored an attempt to take the company private, the Financial Times reports, citing three unnamed people with knowledge of the matter.

According to the Financial Times, SoftBank held discussions with investors including Elliott Management and the Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Mubadala.

However, SoftBank instead decided to move ahead with a plan to sell up to $41bn in assets to pay down debt and boost a share buyback.

The discussion involved founder Masayoshi Son, who began thinking of a leveraged buyout after Gordon Singer of Elliott’s London office expressed interest in buying more SoftBank shares last week, one person said, according to the FT.

The plan was eventually abandoned for a number of reasons, including difficulty in getting an investor consortium together so quickly for a large deal, Tokyo listing rules and tax considerations, multiple people told the FT.

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