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SoftBank more cautious after WeWork - Softbank Latam partner

By Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer
FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo

By Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp <9984.T> has been more cautious on assessing its investments after myriad governance problems and large losses forced WeWork to shelve IPO plans, Latin America Softbank managing partner Andre Maciel, said on Friday.

"There is no question that we've made some mistakes," Maciel told journalists in Sao Paulo, in a meeting discussing investments by SoftBank $5 billion Latin America fund.

"We have been more cautious on valuations and making sure we have checks and balances in place", he said, answering a question on supervision of founders of invested companies.

The Latin America fund has already invested in 19 companies in the region, Maciel said, without giving an exact figure of capital deployed.

He said Softbank invested between 6 billion reais ($1.4 billion) and 10 billion reais ($2.4 billion) in its first year in Latin America. Among its largest bets are Colombian delivery app Rappi, Brazilian digital lender Banco Inter and gym membership app Gympass.

Maciel said Softbank executive Marcelo Claure is still approving every Latin America investment, even after his appointment as WeWork executive chairman in a move to revamp the business.

SoftBank expects to keep the pace of investments next year, but Maciel said he expects a smaller number of larger deals in 2020. ($1 = 4.1964 reais)


(Reporting by Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)