Rakuten Group to sell 15% of shares in Rakuten Bank in offshore market By Reuters

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© Reuters. The logo of Rakuten is pictured in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan, Aug 2, 2023. REUTERS/Miho Uranaka/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Rakuten Group said on Wednesday it plans to sell 25.5 million shares in Rakuten Bank in the offshore market, the latest bid to shore up its finances.

The shares are equivalent to just under 15% of its stake in the bank, according to LSEG data.

Rakuten said it planned to use the proceeds of the sale for the early repayment of bonds, as it had committed to reducing interest-bearing debt.

The stake would be worth around 69.8 billion yen ($474.70 million) at Wednesday’s closing price.

The e-commerce and financial services group has almost 800 billion yen ($5.44 billion) in bond redemptions due before the end of 2025, according to company documents, driven by the cash-burning build out of its mobile network since 2020.

Rakuten publicly listed Rakuten Bank in April this year, raising, 72 billion yen and reducing its holding to 63.3%. After this offering Rakuten Bank will remain a consolidated subsidiary.

The share price will be determined after a book building period between Dec. 6 and 7, Rakuten Bank said in a separate statement.

($1 = 147.0400 yen)

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