Why SoftBank must make hard choices to unlock value

The listing of its domestic telco could shrink its huge conglomerate discount. But the Japanese firm also needs to consider fee transparency for its Vision Fund and share buybacks to please investors.

Masayoshi Son's SoftBank Group long ago established its reputation as a visionary, value-creating investor. Perhaps it’s best known deal was its savvy backing of a then-nascent Alibaba now a worldwide internet titan in 2000. But its labyrinthine structure, leverage and lack of disclosure on the how it collects fees for managing its $93 billion Vision fund are own goals that detract from its value.

Apparently investors think SoftBank Group itself is worth less than half the sum of its total assets, even before taking into account its extensive holdings in unlisted entities. Although stock markets often value a diversified group of businesses and assets at less than the...

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.

FinanceAsia has updated its subscription model.

Registered readers now have the opportunity to read 5 articles from our award-winning website for free.

To obtain unlimited access to our award-winning exclusive news and analysis, we offer subscription packages, including single user, team (2-10 users), or office-wide licences.

To help you and your colleagues access our proprietary content, please contact us at subscriptions@financeasia.com, or +(852) 2122 5222

Article limit is reached.

Hello! You have used up all of your free articles on FinanceAsia.

To obtain unlimited access to our award-winning exclusive news and analysis, we offer subscription packages, including single user, team (2-10 users), or office-wide licences. To help you and your colleagues access our proprietary content, please contact us at subscriptions@financeasia.com, or +(852) 2122 5222