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SoftBank's aggressive investment spree could come to a halt after Arora departure

SoftBank Group's aggressive investment spree could come to an end after its president announced his resignation on Tuesday, according to a fund manager.

In a surprise move, SoftBank said president Nikesh Arora was resigning. The company said Arora, a former Google executive, and chairman and chief executive Masayoshi Son had disagreed over when Arora would replace Son as head of the group.

The departure of Arora, who spearheaded Softbank's investments into companies including e-commerce platform Snapdeal and taxi-hailing app Ola Cabs, could affect the kind of companies SoftBank might invest in next, Joshua Spencer, a portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.

"[Son] may feel his legacy revolves around fixing Sprint," said Spencer. "It's been a big, challenging investment for SoftBank and I think he really wants to make sure his legacy is secure and Sprint is on the right track." SoftBank completed its acquisition of a majority stake in the U.S. wireless carrier Sprint in 2013.

Billionaire Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., left, and Nikesh Arora, president and chief operating officer, attend a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.
Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Billionaire Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., left, and Nikesh Arora, president and chief operating officer, attend a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.

Earlier this year, SoftBank split its domestic Japanese business from its overseas operations. Arora headed the overseas division, which included SoftBank's stake in Sprint and Alibaba while the domestic business included its holdings in Yahoo Japan.

"Mr. Arora had spread his bets around a little more, especially in India," said Spencer. "We may see less of that and a little bit more concentrated investing by Mr. Son."

The company has undertaken an extensive divestiture plan to reduce its debt, including selling its stakes in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and in GungHo Online Entertainment. On Tuesday, the company announced it was selling its stake in Finnish mobile gaming firm Supercell to Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings.

Spencer said the current divestiture plan will raise about $20 billion for the company, as it looks to shore up the balance sheet and close the disconnect between the stock price and the intrinsic value of the company.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, SoftBank's operating income grew 8.8 percent from 918.7 billion yen ($8.79 billion) to about 999.5 billion. SoftBank shares traded up 3.36 percent at 6,038 yen a share on Wednesday afternoon.

Disclosure: T. Rowe Price owned SoftBank shares according to its most recent holdings update as of March 31, 2016.

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