SoftBank paused share buybacks in August ahead of asset sale announcements

TOKYO: SoftBank Group Corp paused share repurchases over Aug. 4-31 ahead of major asset sales announcements, a stock exchange filing showed on Wednesday, in a drop-off in support for the stock after spending 1 trillion yen ($9.4 billion) since March.

The Japanese conglomerate “determined that there were facts that could be classified as nonpublic material facts under insider trading regulation,” it said in the filing.

The group announced a major cut in its stake in wireless unit SoftBank Corp on Aug. 28, followed by the sale of chip designer Arm to Nvidia Corp on Sept. 14.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on whether SoftBank is again in a position to buy back shares.

SoftBank’s share price climbed 160% from March lows to peak on Aug. 3 at 6,942 yen. It has since fallen around 8%.

The group previously signalled a slowdown in the pace of its remaining 1.5 trillion yen worth of planned stock repurchases.

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SoftBank has been selling assets to fund the buybacks and raise cash. Executives have held early stage talks on taking the group private, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.



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