SoftBank to Sell $7.9 billion in Alibaba Stock to Raise Cash

Japan’s SoftBank Group, Alibaba’s biggest shareholder, announced that it will sell at least $7.9 billion of shares in Alibaba Group in a move to pay off debt. Softbank which owns 32.3% of Alibaba shares said that it would retain about a 28% stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant to maintain strategic partnership between the two companies.

“As SoftBank looks to strengthen its own balance sheet, Alibaba determined that it was the best use of our capital to reinvest in our own business through an efficient buyback of a large number of shares in our own company that is accretive to our stockholders,” Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Singapore sovereign wealth funds, GIC and Temasek Holdings each purchased US$500 million of Alibaba shares, taking up in total US$1 billion of the nearly US$8 billion worth of shares sold by Softbank, reported Strait Times Singapore.

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