SoftBank parts with OSISoft in a $5 billion deal

The Japanese tech giant will part with its near 45% stake in the enterprise software company.

SoftBank Group's Vision Fund has agreed to sell its near 45% stake in US software provider OSISoft to British multinational Aveva Group.

The deal, worth $5 billion, will see Aveva acquire 100% of OSISoft on a cash-free and debt-free basis, which includes SoftBank's share, a 50.3% stake that is majority-owned by OSISoft's founder, and a 5% Mitsui stake. 

"The acquisition of OSIsoft is perfectly in line with our strategic vision and it will accelerate the enlarged group's role in the digitisation of the industrial world, which is being driven by a need for sustainability, the industrial internet of things, cloud, data visualisation, and artificial intelligence," Aveva vice chairman and executive vice president Peter Herweck said.
 
"The acquisition will enable Aveva to broaden and deepen its relationships with existing and new customers and bring a more comprehensive product portfolio to market."

OSIsoft is currently headquartered in California and has approximately 1,400 employees. 

OSISoft's PI system, which manages operational data for the utility, pharmaceutical, and oil and gas industries, is currently used across 14,000 sites in 127 countries. 

The sale is the latest in a string of moves, such as selling two-thirds of its T-Mobile shares for ¥422 billion, SoftBank has made in its bid to boost share buybacks and improve its balance sheet.  

SoftBank is also reportedly in advanced talks with Nvidia to sell its semiconductor business Arm at a valuation in excess of $32 billion.

In March, the company said it would spend ¥4.5 trillion on buying back shares and reducing debt, which would be funded by selling the equivalent amount of assets. As of the start of this month, SoftBank has reached 95% of its goal by monetising ¥4.3 trillion of its assets. 

Since then, SoftBank has reported a return to profitability for the first quarter of its 2020 fiscal year to June 30 with a net income of ¥1.25 trillion yen, after it suffered a record ¥1.36 trillion loss for the year to March 30.

The net income figure consisted of the sale of its T-Mobile shares, ¥260 billion from Japanese telco SoftBank Corporation, ¥130 billion from the SoftBank Vision Fund, and ¥736 billion gained from the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint in April. Offsetting this was around ¥50 billion in derivative losses and ¥253 billion in income tax.

The OSISoft sale is expected to close at the end of this year.

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