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SoftBank Confirms It Is Considering Deal to Sell T-Mobile Shares

Nick Turner and Scott Moritz

(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. said it is considering the sale of its T-Mobile US Inc. shares, confirming reports the Japanese company is nearing such a deal as part of its effort to sell about $41 billion in assets.

SoftBank said it may sell some of its stake through private placements or public offerings, adding that there is no assurance a final deal will be reached. T-Mobile also confirmed SoftBank’s plan and wasn’t specific about the details, saying that SoftBank was exploring “one or more monetization transactions” involving the wireless carrier’s stock. People familiar with the matter said last month that SoftBank was closing in on an agreement to sell about $20 billion of its stock in T-Mobile, part of efforts to raise capital after record losses in its investment business.

“These transactions may include one or more of: private placements or public offerings; privately negotiated transactions with T-Mobile or one or more stockholders of T-Mobile, including Deutsche Telekom, or third parties,” T-Mobile said Monday in a regulatory filing.

SoftBank, which owns about 25% of T-Mobile US, is expected to sell a slice of that holding to Deutsche Telekom AG, giving the German co-owner a majority stake. SoftBank would then sell shares in a secondary offering to other investors and retain a smaller stake itself, a person familiar with the deliberations said previously.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son acquired the stake in T-Mobile earlier this year, when U.S. regulators approved the sale of his Sprint Corp. to its wireless rival.

He is currently selling tens of billions of dollars in assets to raise cash so he can buy back shares and pay down debt. Among his other prime assets are Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and SoftBank Corp., the Japanese wireless business.

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