By Cara Lombardo and Liz Hoffman 

SoftBank Group Corp. plans to seek buyers for about $20 billion of its shares in T-Mobile US Inc. as the Japanese technology conglomerate takes steps to pare a years-long investment in the U.S. mobile-phone sector.

Banks including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are working to round up investors for what would be one of the largest stock trades in market history, according to people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank owns roughly 25% of T-Mobile after the U.S. cellphone giant's recent merger with SoftBank-controlled Sprint. Another 44% is owned by T-Mobile's longtime parent, Deutsche Telekom AG, with the rest trading publicly. T-Mobile, the third-largest U.S. wireless company, has a market value of more than $125 billion.

Under the planned multipart deal, Deutsche Telekom would secure the right to buy T-Mobile shares in the future to bring its ownership stake above 50%, which The Wall Street Journal reported on early Monday. In turn, SoftBank would be released from agreements that would have barred it from selling most of its T-Mobile shares for years, according to some of the people.

There's no guarantee SoftBank will go forward with the sale, or that there will be enough investor demand at a price the Japanese company finds attractive.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 18, 2020 17:27 ET (21:27 GMT)

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