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软银不急于减持阿里巴巴1500亿美元的股份

2020-2-13 12:46

 

据路透社报道,软银集团(SoftBank Group)首席执行长孙正义(Masayoshi Son)给该公司减持电子商务巨头阿里巴巴(Alibaba) 1,500亿美元股份的计划泼了一瓢冷水,此前著名维权投资者埃利奥特管理公司(Elliott Management)呼吁进行大规模回购。


总部位于纽约的埃利奥特成为软银的股东,使人们重新关注软银持有的阿里巴巴26%的股份。阿里巴巴是软银最大的资产,也是孙正义迄今最成功的科技押注。


埃利奥特是世界上最知名的维权投资者之一,已在软银积累了近30亿美元的股份。消息人士称,该公司正在推动改革,包括200亿美元的股票回购。


但孙正义表示,他并不急于减持阿里巴巴股份,这引发了人们对软银如何为任何可能的回购提供资金的疑问。


“我认为阿里巴巴有很大的增长空间。我不急于出售股票,”他在周三的新闻发布会上表示。


软银的杠杆率已经很高,很难吸引外部资金来投资第二只科技基金。分析人士表示,孙耀威不愿减持阿里巴巴的股份,使得埃利奥特想要的回购规模几乎没有回旋余地。


“从股东的角度看,你应该卖掉它,投资那些能产生回报的东西,”Redex Holdings分析师柯克·布德里(Kirk Boodry)说,他在研究平台Smartkarma上撰文。


他表示,如果软银认为自己的回报率无法超过阿里巴巴,那么“涉足风险投资业务似乎有些奇怪”。


周三,软银(SoftBank)几乎没有打消投资者对其战略的担忧。该公司报告称,其规模达1000亿美元的愿景基金(Vision Fund)连续第二个季度亏损,几乎抹去了季度利润。


杰富瑞(Jefferies)分析师阿图尔•戈亚尔(Atul Goyal)在一份报告中写道:“这些结果证实了我们的担忧,即(软银)在阿里巴巴之外所做的大多数其他事情都导致了分心或价值毁灭。”


这家电子商务巨头的股份价值约1500亿美元,超过软银本身1100亿美元的市值。


孙正义的集团几乎没有其他可以利用的此类资产。其他股东还包括日本无线业务子公司软库公司(SoftBank Corp.)三分之二的股权,不过软库集团的现金流主要来自电信部门的股息。


该公司承诺将拿出85%的净收入作为股息。


截至去年12月底,软银集团的账面上有3.8万亿日元(350亿美元)的现金和现金等价物。


然而,软银自身的财务政策(为了安抚投资者)限制了这一举措的使用,其中包括承诺保留足够的现金,以应对至少两年的债券赎回。


Refinitiv的数据显示,软银的加权平均债务成本是日本日经225指数(Nikkei 225 Stock average)所有公司中最高的。


孙义确实在2016年收购芯片设计公司Arm之前减持了阿里巴巴的部分股份,利用一项衍生品交易,从随后阿里巴巴股价的上涨中获利——这在当时是一个意外,很可能预示着更多的意外。


孙正义周三表示,他同意埃利奥特的担忧,但他明确表示,任何改变都将以他自己的方式进行。


他说:“我是软银的最大股东,所以我关心股价,也想提高公司价值。”


“然而,方法应该留给我们,管理。”

 

SoftBank Group chief executive Masayoshi Son threw cold water on the idea of cutting his firm’s US$150 billion stakes in e-commerce giant Alibaba (09988.HK) after prominent activist investor Elliott Management called for big buybacks, Reuters reports.

The emergence of New York-based Elliott as a SoftBank shareholder has renewed focus on the company’s 26 percent stake in Alibaba, the Japanese firm’s biggest asset and Son’s most successful tech bet to date.

Elliott, one of the world’s best-known activist investors, has amassed a holding of almost US$3 billion in SoftBank. It is now pushing for changes, including US$20 billion in stock buybacks, sources have said.

But Son indicated that he is in no rush to sell down the Alibaba shares – raising questions about how SoftBank could fund any potential buybacks.

“I believe Alibaba has lots of room to grow. I’m in no hurry to sell shares,” he told a news conference on Wednesday.

SoftBank is already highly leveraged and struggling to attract outside money to a second tech fund. Son’s reluctance to sell down the holding in Alibaba leaves little scope for buybacks on the scale Elliott wants, analysts said.

“From a shareholder perspective you should sell it and invest in the things that are going to generate returns,” said Kirk Boodry, an analyst at Redex Holdings who writes on research platform Smartkarma.

If SoftBank thinks its returns cannot outperform Alibaba, “it seems weird to be in the venture capital business”, he said.

SoftBank did little to dispel investor concerns about its strategy on Wednesday, reporting that quarterly profit was virtually wiped out by a second straight quarter of losses at the US$100 billion Vision Fund.

“These results validate our concerns that most other things that [SoftBank] does outside of Alibaba have led to distractions or value destruction,” Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal wrote in a note.

The stake in the e-commerce giant is worth around US$150 billion – more than the market capitalization of SoftBank itself, which is US$110 billion.

Son’s group has few other such assets it could use. Others include a two-thirds ownership in Japanese wireless unit SoftBank Corp., although SoftBank Group is reliant on dividends from the telecom unit for cash flow.

The unit has pledged to pay out 85 percent of its net income as dividends.

SoftBank Group had 3.8 trillion yen (US$35 billion) in cash and cash equivalents on its books at the end of December.

However, use of that is constrained by SoftBank’s own financial policy – in an effort to reassure investors – including a pledge to maintain enough cash to cover bond redemptions for at least two years.

SoftBank’s weighted average cost of debt is among the highest of all companies on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average, according to Refinitiv data. 

Son did sell down part of the Alibaba stake ahead of the 2016 acquisition of chip designer Arm, using a derivative transaction to capture upside from the subsequent rise in Alibaba’s share price a move that was a surprise at the time and could well augur further surprises.

While Son said on Wednesday he was aligned with Elliott’s concerns, he made it clear any changes would be on his own terms.

“I’m SoftBank’s biggest shareholder so I care about the stock price and also want to raise corporate value,” he said.

“However, the method should be left to us, the management.”

 

来自: ejinsight