The largest listing in history

Investment banks underwriting the initial public offering of SoftBank’s mobile phone business have agreed to fees of about 1.5 per cent for what could be the largest listing in history… The low rate, which applies to the institutional portion of the sale, emerged as SoftBank and its lead co-ordinators — soon to be formally named as Nomura, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank — enter final talks on the structure of the IPO, which is planned for December 19. The formal announcement of the deal schedule is expected in early November. Underwriting fees for the retail tranche are also expected to be low… As part of the offering, SoftBank has made an unusual request for the underwriters to pledge loans for its Saudi-backed $100 billion Vision Fund, also at a relatively low fee and using the fund’s holdings as collateral… Some advisers have said that the IPO, which has been structured so that the SoftBank parent maintains overall control, could seek to value the mobile business at about $90 billion. Depending on the size of the portion sold, the listing could eclipse the current IPO record holder, Alibaba, which raised $25 billion in 2014.

Leo Lewis and Kana Inagaki