SoftBank Group Corp. Friday announced it was selling an additional $1.1 billion worth of its shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. This brings the total to $10 billion.
Alibaba’s biggest shareholder had announced Wednesday the sale of $7.9 billion worth of shares. Singapore state funds bought $1 billion of Alibaba shares in part of the SoftBank sale, Alibaba said the same day.
Through the sale, SoftBank hopes to boost liquidity and improve its leverage ratio. It will cut the firm’s debt in relation to the losses incurred by its U.S. telecom unit Sprint Corp. Earlier this year, SoftBank reported a 27 percent drop in net profit for the fiscal year ending March 31.
Reuters reported SoftBank saying it was exercising a greenshoe option to sell more shares in Alibaba. SoftBank sold more shares because of strong demand, a spokesman said.
This marks the first sale of shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant by the Japanese telecommunications and internet company since it first started investing in Alibaba in 2000 with $20 million. Both companies maintain that they would continue to have a “strong relationship.”
SoftBank has also reportedly agreed to sell most of its remaining stake in mobile gaming company GungHo Online Entertainment back to the company for 73 billion yen ($685.38 million), Reuters reported.