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Struggling Rakuten to sell 15% of its bank unit in order to raise more money

Banking and Insurance

Struggling Rakuten to sell 15% of its bank unit in order to raise more money

As it struggles with significant debt and losses at its mobile network division, Japan's Rakuten Group announced on Wednesday that it intends to sell a sizable portion of Rakuten Bank to foreign investors.

According to LSEG statistics, the planned sale of 25.5 million shares is equal to slightly less than 15% of the online bank and is valued at around 70 billion yen ($475 million) at Wednesday's closing price.

The financial services and e-commerce group declared that it was committed to lowering interest-bearing debt and would utilize the funds to repay bonds early. Affected by rapidly increasing expenses for expanding its cellular network, it must pay out over 800 billion yen ($5.4 billion) in bond redemptions by the end of 2025.

Rakuten has recorded operating losses for 13 consecutive quarters as a result of the unit's problems.

In April of this year, Rakuten Bank was listed, and since 2021, the company has twice sold down its stake in its securities arm, Rakuten Securities, and issued new shares to the public and strategic investors.

With the offering, Rakuten's stake in the bank dropped to 63.3%, and 72 billion yen were raised.

In a separate announcement, Rakuten Bank stated that the price of the shares will be decided during a book-building period that runs from December 6 to 7.

Experts estimate that Rakuten, which owns the profitable points and payments system of the company, may consider listing its credit card company, Rakuten Card, in the near future.

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