March 24, 2020 / 7:36 PM / 17 days ago

SoftBank held go-private talks with Elliott - FT

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

(Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) explored an attempt to take itself private over the past week, holding discussions with investors including hedge fund Elliott Management and the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing three sources.

However, eventually SoftBank opted to move ahead with a plan to sell down $41 billion (35 billion pounds) in assets to pay down its debt and boost a share buyback to 2.5 trillion yen (19.1 billion pounds), the report said.

SoftBank declined to comment on the report.

The Japanese tech conglomerate’s asset sale plans, announced on Monday, came amid a growing financial squeeze on the company and its $100 billion Vision Fund, which has recorded two consecutive quarters of losses after its tech bets fell short, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the global economy.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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