Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

The Player

One of the world’s great players is Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank, who bought 80% of Sprint for $20 billion, bought Vodafone Japan for $15 billion and owns a stake in Alibaba worth $56 billion.

For reasons best known to himself he is raising $4 billion in a bond sale.

Investors are hoping he will use it to pay down some of his company’s $10 billion debt – the credit agencies grade SoftBank at the junk level –  but he’s just as likely to use it for another acquisition.

Son is one of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs of our time. Born Korean, he founded SoftBank in 1981, became a Japanese citizen in 1990, and after absorbing Vodafone K.K. and Sprint, tried and failed to swallow T-Mobile earlier this year.

He is said to have lost $70 billion in the 2008 crash.

The chances are he’ll now do something sensational.

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