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SoftBank CEO Says He ‘Shouldn’t’ Comment on Slow-Motion Buyout

SoftBank Goup Corp.’s Masayoshi Son responded to a question at the company’s annual shareholders meeting about whether he’s considering a “slow-motion” buyout with an awkward no-comment.

“Many things are possible, but it’s hard to comment on it. I shouldn’t comment on it. No comment,” Son said.

SoftBank has discussed the idea of such a buyout, Bloomberg News reported in December. Essentially, the company would buy back its own shares and push up the percentage of the company Son himself owns.

The billionaire founder now holds about a third of the equity in SoftBank, a percentage that climbed after the conglomerate bought back and retired stock in its 2.5 trillion yen repurchase program.

SoftBank shares have fallen about 28% from their peak, reviving the idea of a buyout or another buyback. Asked about potential plans for another stock buyback, Son responded that it could be at anytime and did not commit to a timetable.

Source: Bloomberg