SoftBank Group Boosts Size of Planned Bond in Market Return

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SoftBank Group Corp. is set to price 177 billion yen ($1.7 billion) of debt Friday in its first bond sale in more than a year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Japanese technology conglomerate led by Masayoshi Son boosted the planned size from an initial target of about 100 billion yen.

The company will price the hybrid securities at a maturity of 35 years with an option to be called after five years, and a coupon of 3%, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.​ A SoftBank spokesperson declined to comment.

The conglomerate is one of Japan’s biggest borrowers with a debt load second only to Toyota Motor Corp., excluding financial institutions. Its bonds and stock price rebounded sharply last year after initially diving when markets convulsed in early March due to the pandemic and concerns about the company’s large debt burden.

SoftBank Group Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto said earlier in an emailed response to questions from Bloomberg News that the company plans on selling more bonds in 2021. Last year’s hiatus, the first since the 2008 financial crisis, had to do with the low amounts of debt coming due, Goto said.

Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd. has assigned a preliminary rating of BBB to the planned notes, two levels below the credit score it gives the issuer.

S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on SoftBank Group to stable from negative earlier this week, and affirmed the sub-investment-grade rating it assigns the company. For the revision, S&P cited its expectation that SoftBank Group will “prioritize its financial soundness and credit ratings” and that it will maintain a relatively strong investment portfolio, from a liquidity and credit quality perspective.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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