July 6, 2017 / 4:38 AM / 2 years ago

SoftBank aims to raise $3 billion to $5 billion via bond issue: source

People walk behind the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) is targetting raising between $3 billion and $5 billion through an offering of U.S. dollar bonds, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The group has named Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank as joint global coordinators for a bond offering, it said in an announcement on Thursday, without disclosing the amount it plans to raise.

A SoftBank spokesman said an issuance of hybrid bonds is under preparation, but declined to comment on details.

The bond offering comes after the telecoms-to-investment conglomerate announced raising the world’s largest private equity fund – the nearly $100 billion Vision Fund backed also by Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund - in May.

It bought British semiconductor designer ARM Holdings last year for $32 billion and has been involved in a number of deals across the globe this year including acquisitions of two robotics business from Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc.

Shortly after it announced the ARM deal, SoftBank said it was considering selling around $9.8 billion worth of hybrid bonds in the financial year that ended in March to bolster its capital base and secure funds for future growth.

Hybrid bonds are often treated as quasi-equity by credit-rating firms, allowing companies to raise capital without hurting their ratings.

SoftBank did not specify the purpose of the proceeds in the announcement on Thursday. It will meet fixed-income investors in Hong Kong, Singapore and London from tomorrow. The group is rated Ba1 by Moody’s and BB+ by S&P.

Reporting by Kane Wu; Additional reporting by Makiko Yamazaki in TOKYO; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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