SoftBank, Alibaba’s top shareholder, said on Friday they will sell a further $1.1 billion USD worth of Alibaba shares, following an announcement on Wednesday that they would be selling upward of $7.9 billion worth of the e-commerce company’s stock.
The latest transaction brings the total value of the divested shares to $10 billion, which revises the value of the Wednesday sale to $8.9 billion.
It marks SoftBank’s first-ever sale of Alibaba stock since the company began investing in the e-commerce site back in 2000. SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son is a well known evangelist of the Alibaba cause, investing an initial $20 million 16 years ago, followed by a $60 million injection, for a stake that was valued at well over $40 billion at the time of Alibaba’s IPO.
The Japanese company says the reason for the sale is because of strong demand for Alibaba stock.
Alibaba’s shares debuted on the NYSE in 2014 at just over $93 apiece but took a beating during the Chinese stock slump beginning in mid-2015, sending their shares below $60 each. The company’s stock has rallied somewhat since February on new investments and stable sales growth, now sitting at just over $76.
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Temasek have confirmed the purchase of some of SoftBank’s divested Alibaba stock since Wednesday. Temasek is an existing investor in Alibaba.
The e-commerce company itself purchased 2 billion USD of the available stock at $74 each, which follows a $500 million buyback in February led by Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma and Vice Chairman Joe Tsai.