This profitable ecommerce SoftBank business plans big bond sale
Billionaire Masayoshi Son appears to have lost his midas touch of late, but one part of his technology empire still turning a profit, even in the Covid-19 era, is now planning a big bond.
Z Holdings Corp., formerly known as Yahoo Japan, is planning to sell about 200 billion yen ($1.86 billion) of yen-denominated notes in June, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified. Son was one of the earliest backers of Yahoo! in the 1990s and then teamed up with the dot-com-era darling to launch the portal in Japan, an asset that wound up being much more valuable than its parent.
Unlike Son's SoftBank Group Corp., which recently posted a record loss from newer investments, Z Holdings reported higher profits, as the pandemic boosted earnings at its online shopping business, while people stayed home. Son has been seeking to build Z Holdings into an internet giant to battle global rivals, and plans to combine the business later this year in a complex deal with Line Corp., Japan's leading messaging service.
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Z Holdings, a unit of SoftBank's domestic telecom business is considering to sell 1.5-, 3-, 5-, 7- and ten-year notes, and has hired underwriters for the deal, according to the people familiar. It is set be the biggest offering in the current fiscal year started April 1, if it prices at 200 billion yen.
(By Issei Hazama and Ayai Tomisawa)
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