May 18, 2020 / 4:44 AM / 19 days ago

SoftBank in talks to sell down T-Mobile U.S. stake to Deutsche Telekom: WSJ

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp is in talks to sell “a significant portion” of its T-Mobile US stake to controlling shareholder Deutsche Telekom AG, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources.

A deal would see Deutsche Telekom’s stake in the carrier, which merged with SoftBank’s wireless unit Sprint last month, rise above 50%, the report said.

SoftBank is widely expected to try and monetise its T-Mobile stake as it looks to raise $41 billion through asset sales to prop up its floundering tech investing empire and fund a record share buyback.

Including the talks with Deutsche Telekom, SoftBank plans to seek buyers for about $20 billion of its shares in T-Mobile, working with banks including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc to round up investors, WSJ said in a separate report on Monday. (on.wsj.com/2ThGFwy)

SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom did not respond to requests for comment.

Lock-up provisions agreed to as part of the merger would likely be altered to permit the transaction with Deutsche Telekom, the WSJ said.

Shares of T-Mobile were down 2.8% at $99 in extended trading.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Additional reporting by Munsif Vengattil; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Krishna Chandra Eluri

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