SoftBank posts document $13 billion working loss as tech bets slide

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp on Monday reported a document 1.four trillion yen ($13 billion) working loss within the April-March monetary yr as the worth of its tech bets through the $100 billion Imaginative and prescient Fund crumbled.

FILE PHOTO: The emblem of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 convention in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photograph

The tech and telecoms conglomerate’s disastrous outcome, brought on by a 1.9 trillion yen loss on the Saudi Arabian-backed fund, in contrast with a bunch working revenue of two trillion yen in the identical interval a yr earlier.

The fund’s portfolio is underwater, with a $75 billion funding in 88 startups price $69.6 billion on the finish of March. It booked losses of just about $10 billion on workplace area sharing agency WeWork and trip hailing agency Uber Applied sciences Inc alone.

Chief Government Masayoshi Son’s technique of fronting large sums of money and pushing for breakneck development had already delivered two consecutive quarters of losses on the fund earlier than being upended by the coronavirus outbreak.

SoftBank booked a $7.5 billion loss on different tech investments, which it attributed primarily to the financial shock brought on by the virus. The outbreak has exacerbated underlying issues at a lot of its bets on unproven startups.

The closely indebted SoftBank has leveraged its bets to provide additional funds to its investing juggernaut – a technique that’s coming below rising pressure as valuations tumble.

SoftBank-backed satellite tv for pc operator OneWeb filed for chapter in late March, including to an impairment loss for investments held exterior the Imaginative and prescient Fund that additionally contains a part of the stake in WeWork.

The turmoil has given leverage to activist shareholder Elliott Administration, which along with recommending share buybacks is pushing for higher transparency and oversight.

The calls for echo critics who argue SoftBank is dominated by Son and gives too little element on how the valuations that drive its revenue are reached.

The group has been pressured to pledge sale or monetisation of $41 billion in property, partially to finance a 2.5 trillion yen buyback to prop up its share value. By the tip of April it had spent 250 billion yen on share purchases.

The corporate is loosening ties with the most important asset in its portfolio and a possible goal for asset gross sales, Chinese language e-commerce main Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, with co-founder Jack Ma departing the SoftBank board.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Modifying by Christopher Cushing

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