Citing people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reports that Softbank intends to sell around $14 billion of its shares in Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant. Sources indicate that Softbank will raise anywhere from $12 billion to $15 billion by selling some of its $120 billion stake. It's not clear over what period Softbank will sell shares of Alibaba.
To raise the remaining billions, Softbank is also mulling selling its stake in SoftBank Corp.'s telecommunications business in Japan and part of its holdings in Sprint (NYSE:S) -- once its merger with T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) is complete.
On Monday Softbank surprised investors by announcing a $41 billion plan to unload assets to reduce its debt and buy back shares. As part of the initiative, Softbank committed to buying back $18 billion in stock. Softbank didn't say what assets it plans to unload but said the actions would enable the technology company to strengthen its balance sheet and "significantly" lower its debt load.
The move comes as Softbank faces pressure from investors including Elliott Management, which has recently amassed a sizable stake in the Japanese company. Investors aren't happy with its Vision FUnd tech investments that have resulted in billions in losses. The newly announced $18 billion stock buyback program is in addition to $4.8 billion in stock repurchases it announced last week.