SoftBank Vision Fund seeking cash for blank-cheque firm: source

In this news, we discuss the SoftBank Vision Fund seeking cash for blank-cheque firm: source.

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp’s 9984.T Vision Fund is targeting external funding for a blank check acquisition company it plans to launch, a person familiar with the matter said in a return to the report. marketing of its investments after a period of downsizing.

SoftBank can also invest its own capital in the company, the size of which is undetermined, the person said, declining to be identified because the information is not public.

Details of the vehicle will be revealed in the next two weeks, the person said, in line with media comments from fund director Rajeev Misra at a Milken Institute conference. SoftBank declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

The launch would see SoftBank join the fad for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPAC) – shell vehicles that raise funds through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) before merging with a private company.

These vehicles are being used to get a record number of companies to go public, bypassing the traditional IPO, SoftBank-backed door-to-door selling platform, Opendoor, last month announcing its intention to list in the part of such a merger.

“These are late stage investments, so the potential returns may not be as high, but the risk profile should be lower and the liquidity higher as the investments enter the public domain quickly,” said Kirk Boodry, analyst at Redex Research.

SoftBank is teeming with cash as chief executive Masayoshi Son sells its core assets, leading to speculation about its future investment plans.

The group has been biding its time since efforts to raise capital for a successor to its $ 100 billion Vision fund collapsed following the fund’s poor performance.

The first fund has invested in many of the most reputable startups, using its overwhelming firepower to push for faster growth and shake up the venture capital industry.

SoftBank has invested on a smaller scale with its own money through a second fund amid a lack of larger goals and the funding environment being mitigated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group has used its growing cash reserves to take positions in publicly traded US technology companies and a growing number of portfolio companies have gone public after the IPO window reopened.

There has been an unprecedented streak of 144 SPAC IPOs since the start of the year, raising more than $ 50 billion globally, according to data from Refinitiv, up from 94 of those announcements l last year for $ 14 billion.

The SPAC merger frenzy, which allows private firms to bypass IPO disclosure rules, is attracting retail investors even as the average PSPC underperforms indices.

SoftBank shares rose 1.6% in Tokyo trading to two-decade highs before falling 1%. Driven by buybacks, its shares are up more than 160% since the March lows.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Stephen Coates and Christopher Cushing

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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