Vaccine laggard Japan steps up shots with company efforts
Japanese companies have joined the effort to speed up the country’s lagging coronavirus vaccine rollout before the Tokyo Olympics begin next month. Medical professionals were being inoculated with the Moderna vaccine Tuesday at a downtown Tokyo office of WeWork, an office-sharing company of energy and technology giant SoftBank. The company plans 15 such sites to vaccinate 150,000 SoftBank group company employees and their families, and another 100,000 people living near the sites, SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son said.news.yahoo.com
Major Japan newspaper Asahi calls for Olympic cancellation
Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper on Wednesday called for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled with the games set to open in less than two months. It is the first of Japan’s major newspapers to make the move and joins some regional newspapers that have recently added to the growing opposition to holding the Olympics. Coming out against the Olympics could be significant since the newspaper, like many in Japan, is a sponsor of the postponed Tokyo Games that are scheduled to open on July 23.news.yahoo.com
Coates gets backlash saying Olympics are on, no matter virus
If John Coates was trying to stir controversy, he succeeded. An International Olympic Committee vice president, Coates was asked a few days ago by a Japanese reporter at an online news conference if the Tokyo Olympics would go ahead, even if a state of emergency were in force in Japan. Coates replied: “Absolutely, yes.”news.yahoo.com
SoftBank-backed Greensill Capital reportedly files for administration
LONDON — British financial services firm Greensill Capital has filed for administration, according to a report from the Financial Times. Filing for administration in the U.K. aims to help a company pay off its debts and avoid insolvency. Greensill, which counts former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron as an advisor, provides capital to businesses and individuals worldwide. The company's main financial product is known as supply chain finance, which allows businesses to borrow money to pay their bills. Last week, Credit Suisse suspended $10 billion of funds linked to Greensill and GAM Holdings closed its $842 million GAM Greensill supply chain finance fund.cnbc.com
Profit at Japan's SoftBank zooms on lucrative investments
Japanese telecommunications and technology conglomerate Softbank Group Corp. reported Monday a whopping 1.17 trillion yen ($11 billion) profit for the October-December quarter as its investments rose in value(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. TOKYO – Japanese telecommunications and technology conglomerate Softbank Group Corp. reported Monday a whopping 1.17 trillion yen ($11 billion) profit for the October-December quarter as its investments rose in value. SoftBank's profits were far better than what analysts had expected, zooming up 21-fold from the 55 billion yen profit recorded the previous year. The value of its investments rose, including in DoorDash, a U.S. food delivery service, and Uber, a U.S. technology company that offers ride-hailing and deliveries. SoftBank has an array of investments, mostly in technology companies, through its Vision Funds.
SoftBank Vision Fund turns $680 million DoorDash investment into $11.5 billion based on Wednesday's opening price
The SoftBank Vision Fund has taken its share of lumps over the past year, but it can count its DoorDash investment as a huge success. The $100 billion Vision Fund invested in DoorDash four times, pumping $680 million into the company in Series D, F, G and H rounds. Based on DoorDash's Wednesday opening price of $182 per share, that investment is now worth $11.5 billion — an almost 17x gain. SoftBank valued the first Vision Fund at $76.4 billion at its earnings announcement, about equal to the $75 billion the Vision Fund paid for its 83 investments. The $280 million Series D investment valued DoorDash at $5.50 per share, according to company filings.cnbc.com
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son says he's hoarding cash from $80 billion in asset sales to prepare for 'worst case scenario'
He said he initially targeted about $40 billion of asset sales this year but ended up selling off about $80 billion of companies to give the company liquidity in case of a global emergency. If markets dip, SoftBank could use the money to buy undervalued assets, shore up its portfolio investments in the SoftBank Vision Fund, or buy back more stock, Son said. SoftBank's Vision Fund owns stakes in more than 80 different technology companies. He said the largest U.S. technology companies shouldn't be broken up just because their market valuations are large. SoftBank has invested in some of the largest U.S. technology companies in recent months.cnbc.com
Japan's SoftBank back in the black as investments improve
Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. said Monday it restored its profitability in the last quarter as its investments improved in value. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)TOKYO – Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. said Monday it bounced back to profitability in the last quarter as its investments improved in value. The Tokyo-based company reported a 627 billion yen, or about $6.1 billion, profit in July-September, compared with a loss of 700 billion yen in the same quarter of 2019. SoftBank said its quarterly sales rose nearly 5% to 1.35 trillion yen, or $13 billion, from 1.29 trillion yen. Japan and the Pepper companion robot, and in its SoftBank mobile carrier in Japan, the first to offer the iPhone in Japan.
SoftBank invests $215 million in education start-up Kahoot as coronavirus boosts e-learning
Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., reacts during a dialog session with Jack Ma, former chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., not pictured, at Tokyo Forum 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. LONDON — SoftBank has invested $215 million in Norwegian education start-up Kahoot, taking a 9.7% stake in the company, as demand for online learning platforms skyrockets during the coronavirus pandemic. The Oslo-based firm said Tuesday it had agreed to sell 43 million new shares at a price of 46 Norwegian krone — or about $5 — per share to SoftBank. Founded in 2012, Kahoot is a game-based learning service that lets players create and take part in multiple-choice quizzes. One side of the business focuses on schools and home learning, while the other centers on corporate clients looking to make training sessions and presentations.cnbc.com
SoftBank's Rajeev Misra says Vision Fund 2 is backing a SPAC
SoftBank Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra has made a living from raising money. The SPAC will be operated by SoftBank Vision Fund investment advisors and will include money from outside investors and Vision Fund 2, according to a person familiar with the matter. Misra helped raise $100 billion SoftBank's first Vision Fund, which was invested into more than 80 companies. Investing in a SPAC will give Misra access to public money once the Vision Fund has selected a suitable target and acquired it. The Vision Fund has thus far only taken funding from limited partners and corporations.cnbc.com
SoftBank's Son leaves Alibaba board following Ma's departure
Son, the chief executive of Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. said Thursday, June 25, 2020, that he is stepping down from the board of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO Masayoshi Son, the chief executive of Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp., said Thursday that he is stepping down from the board of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Last month, Alibaba founder and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma left SoftBank's board. Earlier, SoftBank announced three new board members, including SoftBank Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto and Waseda University professor Yuko Kawamoto. He is also chief executive of Cadence Design, a U.S. electronic design automation software and engineering services company.
SoftBank racks up losses as Vision Fund investments plunge
Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. racked up a loss of 961.6 billion yen ($9 billion) for the fiscal year through March, on red ink related to its Vision Fund investments, including troubled office space-sharing venture WeWork. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. racked up a loss of 961.6 billion yen ($9 billion) for the fiscal year through March, on red ink related to its Vision Fund investments including troubled office space-sharing venture WeWork. Tokyo-based SoftBank had reported a profit of 1.4 trillion yen the previous fiscal year. SoftBank announced three new board members, including SoftBank Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto and Waseda University professor Yuko Kawamoto. Also Monday, SoftBank said it was buying back its own shares, of up to 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) in value, to shore up its bottom line.
Alibaba's Jack Ma quits board of Japan's struggling SoftBank
TOKYO Chinese billionaire Jack Ma is stepping down from the board of SoftBank Group Corp., as the Japanese technology company struggles over its risky investments such as office-sharing venture WeWork. Tokyo-based SoftBank announced Ma's resignation Monday, ahead of releasing financial results. SoftBank announced three new board members, including SoftBank Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto and Waseda University professor Yuko Kawamoto. He is also chief executive of Cadence Design, a U.S. electronic design automation software and engineering services company. Ma, who joined the SoftBank board in 2007, has a close relationship with SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son.
WeWork board sues SoftBank over withdrawal to buy $3 billion worth of shares
A special committee of WeWork's board is suing SoftBank after SoftBank withdrew its $3 billion tender offer, the company announced Tuesday. SoftBank originally made the tender offer to buy shares of WeWork at an agreed upon price last year as part of a package to bail out the company after its failed IPO. WeWork alleges SoftBank breached its fiduciary duty to WeWork's minority shareholders by failing to follow through with the offer. "Several of the conditions the Special Committee, WeWork, Adam Neumann, SoftBank and SoftBank Vision Fund agreed to last October as requirements for completing the tender were not met as of April 1, 2020." "SoftBank's wrongful conduct in failing to consummate the tender offer deprives WeWork's minority stockholders of the liquidity that they were promised."cnbc.com
WeWork troubles deepen as SoftBank pulls its $3 billion tender offer
SoftBank said it has terminated a $3 billion tender offer for additional WeWork shares agreed last year with shareholders, drawing threats of legal action and plunging the floundering office space company further into crisis. A special committee of WeWork's board said it was disappointed and is considering "all of its legal options, including litigation." SoftBank's decision to rescind the offer means the Japanese firm is no longer obligated to proceed with a further $1.1 billion in debt financing for WeWork. The startup, which lost $1.25 billion in the third quarter, told investors last week that it had $4.4 billion in cash and cash commitments and would be able to weather the economic downturn. In November, sources said the New York State Attorney General was investigating WeWork, examining whether Neumann, indulged in self-dealing to enrich himself.cnbc.com
SoftBank is letting internet satellite company OneWeb file for bankruptcy, a sign Masayoshi Son has learned lessons from WeWork
SoftBank has decided to let satellite internet provider OneWeb file for bankruptcy Friday rather than pump billions of dollars into the start-up to save it, according to people familiar with the matter. OneWeb plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday when markets close in New York at 4 p.m. OneWeb was in the early stages of launching its own global satellite internet constellation, which would have competed directly with the network SpaceX is building called Starlink. "We're constantly raising capital," Steckel said, just after the company's second launch. The Financial Times first reported that OneWeb would file for bankruptcy.cnbc.com
SoftBank strategy shifts from long-term domination to short-term survival as Vision Fund prepares for global downturn
The main problem for SoftBank is its ambitious Vision Fund, which has posted back-to-back quarterly losses in operating profit, wiping out the company's overall profit in both quarters. SoftBank is the largest shareholder for the majority of companies in the Vision Fund. Prescient concernsSeveral Vision Fund partners have expressed concern internally that $20 billion wasn't enough reserve capital for a fund with a 14-year lifespan, CNBC reported earlier this month. If an IPO window is closed for all of 2020, Vision Fund companies will need more capital, and SoftBank may be forced to walk away from investments instead of funding them all. WATCH: SoftBank Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra speaks outcnbc.com
SoftBank may not complete $3 billion tender offer for WeWork, sources say
SoftBank may be walking away from part of its bailout of WeWork by not completing its $3 billion tender offer for the office space startup, according to people familiar with matter. SoftBank had planned a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shares, which were privately held, along with a $1.5 billion acceleration of equity it has already committed and $5 billion in syndicated debt. The SoftBank tender offer closes April 1. SoftBank's bailout package of WeWork in October valued the startup at about $8 billion -- a far cry from the $47 billion SoftBank valued WeWork at in January 2019. SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son has publicly said trusting WeWork founder Adam Neumann with more than $10 billion in funding money was a mistake.cnbc.com
After the WeWork debacle, SoftBank's Vision Fund boss says critics will be proven wrong
SoftBankRajeev Misra, the head of SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund, has had a rough six months. "We learn from our mistakes and are incorporating what we learn back into our process as we embark on Vision Fund 2." Still, Misra said the fund won't even entertain start-ups that want to put conditions around Vision Fund funding, such as only taking the money if the Vision Fund doesn't reveal itself as an investor. Because of an $8.9 billion deficit at the Vision Fund, SoftBank in November reported its first quarterly loss in 14 years. Jeff Housenbold, managing partner at SoftBank's Vision Fund SoftBankHousenbold says the fund needs to take a page from smaller venture firms that coordinate and share knowledge at their Monday partner meetings.cnbc.com
SoftBank shares skyrocket in Japan after judge approves T-Mobile and Sprint merger
Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., reacts during a dialog session with Jack Ma, former chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., not pictured, at Tokyo Forum 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. Shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group soared on Wednesday a day after a U.S. district judge approved a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. SoftBank Group's stock closed 11.89% higher on Wednesday after skyrocketing more than 14% earlier in the session. The strong moves upward mirrored that of Sprint, which saw its own stock on Wall Street gain a whopping 77.7% on Tuesday. Tuesday's ruling also culminates a years-long courtship between Sprint and T-Mobile, which have made multiple attempts over the years to merge, only to abandon their plans fearing regulatory scrutiny.cnbc.com
Paul Singer's Elliott Management invests more than $2.5 billion in SoftBank
Billionaire investor Paul Singer's hedge fund, Elliott Management, has taken a more than $2.5 billion stake in SoftBank, CNBC has confirmed. The investment is being led by Singer's son, Gordon, a source told CNBC's David Faber. Top staffers from Elliott have met with SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son along with some of his deputies. The hedge fund is pushing SoftBank to repurchase between $10 billion and $20 billion in stock as well as improve its governance practices. Concerns with SoftBank and its high-profile Vision Fund come months after the company plowed billions into office-space-sharing start-up WeWork.cnbc.com
SoftBank-backed Zume is laying off half its staff and shuttering its pizza delivery business
He says that SoftBank, and Zume's other investors, are aligned with the changes being made today. Zume was founded on a clear mission to engineer a more sustainable food system. How Zume is doing this:In Zume Source Packaging we are doubling down on our market-leading innovations in compostable molded-fiber packaging. In Zume Forward Mobile we will continue to provide food production and delivery systems, which help restaurants and food brands improve the delivery process and bring food closer to their customers. About Zume Pizza... With admiration and sadness, we are closing Zume Pizza today.cnbc.com
Uniqlo founder Yanai resigns as SoftBank board member after 18 years
Japan's SoftBank Group Corp said Tadashi Yanai, founder and CEO of Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing, will resign as independent board member at the end of the month after 18 years on the job to focus on his fashion business. A longtime ally and sometime critic of SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, the billionaire is one of only three external members of a board filled with SoftBank executives and heads of its portfolio companies. However, experts are critical of SoftBank's governance, saying it has few truly independent voices that can question Son's judgment. "They have low governance standards," said Nicholas Benes of The Board Director Training Institute of Japan, a non-profit focused on corporate governance training. "Almost all the board members gave me a hard time.cnbc.com
John Malone says he doesn't understand investing in 'deep-loss businesses' like WeWork and Uber
Liberty Media Chairman John Malone took issue with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son's investment approach in light of the botched WeWork IPO. He's got a balance sheet no one can understand," Malone told CNBC's David Faber in an exclusive interview Thursday. WeWork pulled its IPO filing in September after investors balked at its mounting losses and unusual corporate governance structure. "I look at each one of these deep-loss businesses ... you've got to have to have an argument that the scale will improve the marginal economics," Malone said. "I never quite understood Uber and I never quite understood why Dara took the job," Malone said of Dara Khosrowshahi, who succeeded CEO Travis Kalanick in 2017 following a series of scandals.cnbc.com
SoftBank-backed delivery start-up DoorDash is reportedly being valued at $13 billion as it pulls in more cash
DoorDash, the food delivery start-up backed by SoftBank, is raising a new round of funding that values the company at close to $13 billion, according to a Bloomberg report. The financing, pegged at $100 million, includes investments from T. Rowe Price, and is said to be an extension of DoorDash's most recent $600 million funding round, which was announced in May and valued the company at $12.6 billion. SoftBank led a $535 million investment in DoorDash in early 2018, lifting the company's valuation at the time to $1.4 billion. The funding round comes as DoorDash is said to be eyeing an IPO. A separate report said DoorDash was in talks with several banks about securing $400 million in funding ahead of a potential public offering in 2020.cnbc.com
SoftBank stock falls after terrible earnings report
SoftBank reported operating losses of $6.5 billion after market close on Wednesday, weighed down by a massive hit to its tech fund. TOKYO - Shares in SoftBank fell as much as 4% in Tokyo on Thursday after the company reported worse than expected losses for the third quarter. SoftBank reported operating losses of $6.5 billion after market close on Wednesday, weighed down by a massive hit to its tech fund. In Hong Kong, shares in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing fell 0.3%. The company, which operates the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, reported net profits of 2.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($280 million) for the third quarter, slightly lower than market expectations.
SoftBank takes $9 billion hit from Uber, WeWork, other investments
SoftBank on Wednesday reported an operating loss for the most recent quarter of 970.3 billion yen ($8.9 billion) on its mega tech funds including the Vision Fund, which holds investments in Uber, WeWork, Slack and other major startups. The group reported losses of 704 billion yen ($6.5 billion) for the three months that ended in September, far worse than the 48.1 billion yen ($442 million) analysts polled by data provider Refinitiv had expected. SoftBank had reported operating profits of 706 billion yen ($6.5 billion) for the same period a year earlier. Before the bailout, the Vision Fund and SoftBank had already invested nearly $11 billion into WeWork. SoftBank's rescue package valued WeWork at about $8 billion less than half the total amount of money SoftBank and the Vision Fund have poured into the company.
Some WeWork board members reportedly looking to remove CEO
(CNN) - Some WeWork board members want to remove Adam Neumann as chief executive of the company, the Wall Street Journal and other outlets reported Sunday, citing people involved in the talks. CNBC reported Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son supports Neumann's removal, according to a person familiar with the matter. WeWork declined to comment for this story, citing the quiet period ahead of its public offering. Ronald Fisher, vice chairman at Softbank, and Mark Schwartz, former board director at Softbank, joined the company's board as part of a 2017 $4.4 billion investment in We by Softbank. But Neumann, who is one of seven board members, is We's controlling shareholder, giving him the power to fire the board.
SoftBank wants its second massive tech fund to raise $108 billion
Kiyoshi Ota / Getty StringerTOKYO - SoftBank is launching another mega tech fund. The Japanese tech company said Friday that it expects to raise $108 billion for the new Vision Fund 2 from the likes of Apple, Foxconn, Microsoft and Kazakhstan's investment fund. Vision Fund 2 will plow money into tech startups driven by artificial intelligence. Son launched his first huge tech fund in May 2017, with nearly half the money coming from the Saudi government. But the kingdom is absent from the list of roughly a dozen companies, banks and institutions listed as partners for Vision Fund 2.