SoftBank mulls selling Supercell


TOKYO: Japanese mobile giant SoftBank said Friday it was considering selling Finnish game maker Supercell Oy, reportedly to Chinese internet giant Tencent.

The announcement came as SoftBank rushes to improve its balance sheet, including sales of at least $7.9 billion worth of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Aggressive Internet investor SoftBank, led by colorful billionaire Masayoshi Son, has picked up an assortment of firms in recent years, including its $16 billion purchase of US-based mobile giant Sprint.

But the buying spree has put pressure on SoftBank’s finances.

“SoftBank Group Corp confirms that it is considering a sale, but nothing has been decided at this point,” it said in a brief statement referring to Supercell, the creator of hugely popular “Clash of Clans” and other mobile games.

But the Japanese firm did not name a potential buyer.

SoftBank was in talks with China’s Tencent in a deal that could be worth as much as 800 billion yen ($7.67 billion), the Nikkei newspaper reported Friday, without citing sources.

The two firms are likely to officially announce the deal by the end of the month, the business daily said.

SoftBank bought a 51-percent stake in Supercell for some $1.53 billion in 2013, before increasing its stake to about 73 percent in 2015. AFP



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