Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank Group (SFTBY) is targeting 2.4 trillion yen, or about $21 billion, for an initial public offering (IPO) of its domestic telecoms unit, according to a recent regulatory filing with the Ministry of Finance on Monday. The deal would represent the world's biggest market debut since Alibaba Group (BABA) raised $25 billion for its IPO in New York in 2014. The IPO will effectively split the business in half and provide SoftBank with a trove of capital so that CEO Masayoshi Son can charge ahead with his aggressive technology investment strategy, as outlined by CNBC.

Japanese Conglomerate Doubles Down on Tech Startups

The news reflects a larger initiative by the Tokyo-based technology giant, which has shifted away from its traditional role as a mobile phone network provider to become a key global technology investor. Son has spearheaded a focus on finding lucrative technology investments, launching the $93 billion Vision Fund in 2017. The fund, which received nearly 50% of its capital investment from the Saudi government, has backed startups including U.S. co-working space WeWork and software platform Slack. SoftBank has also funneled capital into high profile companies like Chinese Internet behemoth Alibaba, as well as Silicon Valley-based ride-hailing industry leader Uber Technologies Inc. and its largest Asian competitor Didi Chuxing. 

At a price of 1,500 yen per share, the planned IPO would value SoftBank's mobile division at 7.2 trillion yen, or $63 billion. SoftBank will maintain at least 60% ownership of the domestic telecom business. The conglomerate will also have the option to sell another $2.1 billion of shares given investor demand is strong, which would propel the size of the IPO above $23 billion. 

Headwinds facing Japan's mobile business include a pricing war among operators. Earlier this year, SoftBank rival NTT Docomo (DCMYY) announced that it would reduce prices for its cell plans by as much as 40%, leading to speculation that SoftBank will be forced to do the same. 

SoftBank indicated that the IPO price is tentative and a final decision will be made on Dec. 10 ahead of the IPO slated for Dec 19 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.