Report: Softbank Plans $2.8B Share Issue

TOKYO (03/24/2000) - Aggressive Tokyo-based Internet investment company Softbank Corp. is planning to issue additional shares to raise 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) it needs for investments, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper reported in this evening's edition.

The company will discuss the plan at a board meeting this evening, and approval could see the shares being issued at market price in April, the report said. It will be one of the largest capital increases ever performed by a Japanese company should it happen, the newspaper added.

"At this time we have no comment on the report," said Softbank Corp. spokesman Shawn Sehy -- although he did confirm the company has a board meeting scheduled for this evening.

Softbank has become increasingly active in recent months, stepping up investment in Internet start-ups. Last month the company announced plans to form a 150 billion yen venture fund to focus on Japanese start-ups [See "Softbank to Form Largest Japan Net Fund Yet, Feb. 9] and it has also recently announced plans for a $150 million fund for Latin America [See "Softbank Increases its Net VC Fund for LatAm," Feb. 15]. It has other active funds in North America, Europe and Asia.

Softbank Corp., in Tokyo, is online at http://www.softbank.co.jp/.

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