SoftBank's New Bonds May Be Further Step in IPO Plan: Moody's

(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group has begun the sale of bonds, which if successful, will take the company a step further toward the potential IPO of its Japanese telecom unit.

The Japanese firm is selling bonds in euros and dollars to replace securities sold in 2013, according to a person familiar with this offering, who is not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. The new notes won’t include a covenant found in the 2013 securities that required the debt to be rated investment grade before a guarantee can be released.

This means that the new offering “shares similar objectives with the exchange offer and consent solicitation in March 2018,” and “could be required for the potential SoftBank Corp. IPO that SoftBank Group Corp. is preparing,” Moody’s analysts wrote in report on Monday.

The move comes as the telecom unit, SoftBank Corp., needs to show its independence to get listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. SoftBank Group sold $2.485 billion and 625 million euros ($773 million) of bonds in April 2013.

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