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SoftBank mobile IPO set for approval Monday

Expected Dec. 19 debut likely to bring $22bn to group

The Tokyo Stock Exchange approved SoftBank Corp.'s IPO on Monday   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Stock Exchange is expected to grant approval Monday for the listing of SoftBank Group's mobile communications unit, SoftBank Corp., Nikkei has learned.

Talks are proceeding with an eye toward a Dec. 19 listing for the unit. SoftBank Group is expected to procure around 2.5 trillion yen ($22 billion) in what will likely be the year's largest initial public offering in Japan. SoftBank Corp.'s market capitalization is estimated to total 7 trillion yen to 8 trillion yen.

Once approval is granted, the process of selecting brokerages to underwrite the listing and settling on an IPO price will begin.

The listing has been the topic of much discussion at the TSE since SoftBank Corp. made the preliminary application in July. The idea of having both parent and subsidiary listed raised concerns, but the bourse ultimately judged that SoftBank Corp.'s corporate governance was sufficiently independent from SoftBank Group.

While the Japanese government is urging mobile service providers to lower rates, the TSE maintains that SoftBank Corp.'s earnings will not be significantly affected as the company makes progress on cutting costs.

SoftBank Group intends to channel the funds raised through the IPO into its investment activities, such as through its $100 billion Vision Fund for promising global tech startups.

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