SoftBank Group’s board is reportedly planning to meet Thursday to approve a $40 billion investment into its new technology fund.
The investment comes after SoftBank secured backing from an unusual configuration of investors that includes Apple, Goldman Sachs, and the government of Kazakhstan.
The Wall Street Journal reported that an anticipated merger of Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile — poised for approval by regulators — will wipe away billions of dollars in SoftBank debt and make room for it to invest.
The fund is a sequel to its $100 billion Vision Fund, launched in 2016 with money from SoftBank itself and the governments of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. The Vision Fund has provided gobs of cash to real estate startups such as WeWork, Katerra, OpenDoor and Compass, all of which are valued well over $1 billion.
The Journal reports that Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi are likely to invest again in the new fund, as SoftBank seeks further backing. Its current backers include Standard Chartered PLC, the emerging-markets bank, in addition to Apple, Goldman and Kazakhstan’s sovereign-wealth fund. It’s also said to be in discussions with Microsoft. [WSJ] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan
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