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SoftBank Bets $3.9 Billion on U.S. Giants From Amazon to Tesla

Pavel Alpeyev
·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. has invested about $3.9 billion into 25 of the world’s largest technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., Tesla Inc., Netflix Inc. and Alphabet Inc.

The Japanese conglomerate owned $1.04 billion of Amazon stock, its biggest investment, a $475 million stake in Alphabet, $248.6 million of Adobe Inc. and $189 million of Netflix, the Tokyo-based company said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dated Aug. 17. Its stake in Tesla was worth $122.9 million as of June 30, it said.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son is expanding the company’s investment activities from private startups to publicly traded equities at a time the biggest technology stocks are near record highs. He unveiled a new asset management arm on an earnings call last week, saying it’s part of a broader bet on transformative technologies. The Japanese company is targeting investments of more than $10 billion in public stocks, according to people familiar with the initiative.

Read more: SoftBank Is Said to Target Over $10 Billion in Public Investing

The filing also shows a $183 million stake in Microsoft Corp., $111.5 million in PayPal Holdings Inc. and $108.8 million in Zoom Video Communications Inc. Also on the list were several Chinese names including streaming giants Bilibili Inc. and iQiyi Inc. as well as Singapore’s Sea Ltd., one of the world’s best performers over the past 18 months. While Son has said SoftBank invested in Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc., the companies were not listed among the latest disclosure of U.S.-listed holdings.

SoftBank has notched some wins in public stocks over the past years. It profited from investments in Charter Communications Inc. in early 2018 and in U.S. chip designer Nvidia Corp. The latest filing showed SoftBank has taken a position in Nvidia worth $180.9 million.

The asset management team is led by Akshay Naheta, a senior vice president in Abu Dhabi, the people said. The group has been quietly amassing multibillion-dollar stakes in American Big Tech companies over the past few months, the people said.

“As an investment company, we need to explore various angles and scope. But our focus is still on companies driving the information revolution,” Son said during SoftBank’s most recent earnings presentation. “This is the purpose of our company.”

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