July 30, 2013 / 8:49 AM / 4 years ago

SoftBank CEO says nothing decided on possible Alibaba IPO

TOKYO (Reuters) - Softbank Corp CEO Masayoshi Son said on Tuesday no decision had been made regarding a possible initial public offering for Alibaba, China’s and the world’s largest Internet retailer which is 36.7 percent owned by the Japanese mobile carrier.

Softbank Corp President Masayoshi Son speaks during a news conference in Tokyo July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato

“There is no firm plan for an Alibaba IPO and I will refrain from commenting,” Son told a briefing on SoftBank’s quarterly earnings. He had been asked about the impact on SoftBank of a planned Alibaba IPO in Hong Kong.

Alibaba has not given a timetable for an IPO, although an offering is widely anticipated with speculation that it could come as early as this year and value the company at up to $100 billion.

Investors see an Alibaba IPO potentially bolstering the ambitious Son’s financial leeway to pursue further overseas acquisitions after SoftBank closed a $21.6 billion deal this month to buy U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Corp.

(This story was fixed to correct in paragraph 3 to say IPO would value the company at $100 billion, not raise $100 billion)

Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Edmund Klamann

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