Bloomberg/Kiyoshi Ota

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SoftBank mulls IPO for $100 billion Saudi-backed Vision Fund

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The Vision Fund’s largest investor is Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and other investors including Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company.

Sunday 05, May 2019

(Bloomberg) --Executives at SoftBank Group are weighing the idea of an initial public offering (IPO) for its Vision Fund, the $100 billion behemoth that has invested in technology companies ranging from Uber Technologies to WeWork.

The idea is early stage and if pursued, an IPO would give investors in the fund a way to cash out part or all of their stakes. The fund might consider a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO.

A listing of any sort would be unusual for a venture firm, but the Vision Fund has operated outside of traditional venture parameters since its debut in 2016. It dwarfs other funds in size and invests more broadly than most venture funds, including in mature companies like chipmaker Nvidia.

The Vision Fund has explored raising an additional $15 billion to keep funding its ambitious investment activities. SoftBank is planning a second Vision Fund, and is also launching a Latin American fund in the mould of Vision Fund.

Additionally, the Japanese conglomerate is also negotiating with Oman for an investment of several billion dollars in the existing Vision Fund.

The Vision Fund owns a 16.3 per cent stake in Uber, a stake in Slack Technologies, which like Uber and WeWork, is planning to go public.

Last year, SoftBank Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son said that he planned to raise $100 billion every two to three years to create Vision Fund successors.

 

TAGS : SoftBank Group, Vision Fund, IPO, WeWork, Uber Technologies , Masayoshi Son, Mubadala Investment Company , Public Investment Fund

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