9984.T - SoftBank Group Corp.

Tokyo - Tokyo Delayed Price. Currency in JPY
4,716.00
+127.00 (+2.77%)
As of 11:35AM JST. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close4,589.00
Open4,651.00
Bid4,713.00 x 0
Ask4,717.00 x 0
Day's Range4,644.00 - 4,742.00
52 Week Range3,958.00 - 6,045.00
Volume7,845,300
Avg. Volume12,701,006
Market Cap9.769T
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.62
PE Ratio (TTM)10.77
EPS (TTM)438.02
Earnings DateFeb 12, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield44.00 (0.96%)
Ex-Dividend DateMar 30, 2020
1y Target Est13,753.00
  • Reuters

    Blackstone sweetens bid to buy Unizo to 5,600 yen per share -source

    Blackstone Group on Tuesday sweetened its proposed offer to buy Unizo Holdings to 5,600 yen a share, challenging a bid by Lone Star, whose 5,100 yen offer was supported by the Japanese hotel chain, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said. Blackstone's revised offer from 5,000 yen comes ahead of the Feb. 4 deadline for the public tender offer launched by Dallas-based buyout fund Lone Star.

  • Moody's

    Alpha Holding, S.A. de C.V. -- Moody's affirms AlphaCredit's ratings, changes outlook to positive; rates B1 proposed senior debt

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today affirmed all ratings of Alpha Holding, S.A. de C.V. (AlphaCredit), including its B1/Not Prime long- and short-term global local and foreign currency issuer ratings, the B1 long-term Corporate Family Rating and its B1 long-term foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating. At the same time, Moody's assigned a B1 long-term foreign currency debt rating to AlphaCredit's proposed senior unsecured 144A/Reg S fixed-rate five-year $350 million notes.

  • Japanese Rock Star Yoshiki Is Investing in Cloud Computing
    Bloomberg

    Japanese Rock Star Yoshiki Is Investing in Cloud Computing

    (Bloomberg) -- Japanese rock star Yoshiki and software giant Salesforce.com Inc. are backing cloud consulting firm Uhuru Corp. in its next fundraising round, a person familiar with the plans said.Tokyo-based Uhuru is planning to raise 15 million pounds ($20 million) to 20 million pounds, the person said, asking not to be identified because the plans are confidential. Salesforce, which currently holds 4.7%, and Yoshiki will be minority holders after the funding round, the person said.Uhuru had planned to list on London’s Alternative Investment Market last year, but backed off after uncertainty over the U.K.’s plans to leave the European Union dampened interest in new issues. The company specializes in “digital transformation,” helping construct networks as well as offering data analytics, consulting and marketing services.@YoshikiOfficial in a club in Tokyo. Japan is full of surprises. pic.twitter.com/wG5RW4G5i7— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) April 11, 2019 Yoshiki, a classical pianist and leader of the rock band X Japan, is friendly with Salesforce co-founder Marc Benioff, who has tweeted clips of the two singing karaoke in Tokyo in April. Yoshiki, who’s been performing for more than 30 years, has played at the Lollapalooza and Coachella music festivals and at Carnegie Hall in New York.No final decisions have been made and the backers could still decide against investing. Representatives for Uhuru, Yoshiki and Salesforce declined to comment.The company lists its main shareholders as including SoftBank Group Corp., Dentsu Group Inc., NEC Corp. and Salesforce on its website. It generated $35 million in revenue in 2018, according to the Financial Times.\--With assistance from Nico Grant.To contact the reporter on this story: David Hellier in London at dhellier@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Kirchfeld at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net, Amy Thomson, Michael HythaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    WeWork To Provide Office Space To Fellow Softbank-Backed Startup In New York

    The agreement, which is valid for three years, will see Gympass' capacity in the city triple, according to Reuters. Much like WeWork, the New York-based corporate wellness company, with roots in Brazil, is also backed by Softbank Group Corp. (OTC: SFTBY). Softbank's WeWork investment and subsequent acquisition have been a cause for the investment bank's worst quarterly performance in history, and embarrassment for its chairman Masayoshi Son, who said he regretted his bad judgment in the case.

  • WeWork inks office space deal with SoftBank-backed Gympass - sources
    Reuters

    WeWork inks office space deal with SoftBank-backed Gympass - sources

    WeWork has signed a deal to provide space to 250 employees of gym membership app company Gympass in New York, the latest example of the U.S. office-sharing start-up's majority owner, SoftBank Group Corp , using its connections to buoy its business, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. SoftBank is also a minority investor in Gympass. While it does not have absolute control over it, it encourages its portfolio companies to collaborate, one of the sources said.

  • WeWork inks office space deal with SoftBank-backed Gympass: sources
    Reuters

    WeWork inks office space deal with SoftBank-backed Gympass: sources

    WeWork has signed a deal to provide space to 250 employees of gym membership app company Gympass in New York, the latest example of the U.S. office-sharing start-up's majority owner, SoftBank Group Corp, using its connections to buoy its business, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. SoftBank is also a minority investor in Gympass. While it does not have absolute control over it, it encourages its portfolio companies to collaborate, one of the sources said.

  • Bloomberg

    SoftBank-Led Group to Invest $125 Million in AlphaCredit

    (Bloomberg) -- A group of investors led by SoftBank’s Latin America Fund will invest $125 million in AlphaCredit, the Latin American financial technology platform said.The investment will allow “AlphaCredit to consolidate its place as one of the leading financial technology platforms in Latin America, continue its expansion and leverage the competitive advantages of its proven and profitable business model,” the company said in a statement.AlphaCredit provides credit lines to individuals and small companies that are often underserved by traditional banks and has lent more than $1 billion to clients in Mexico and Colombia.To view the source of this information click here.To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Davis in London at abdavis@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew G. Miller at mmiller144@bloomberg.net, James Amott, Sara MarleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank says former employee arrested on suspicion of leaking company info
    Reuters

    SoftBank says former employee arrested on suspicion of leaking company info

    A former employee of SoftBank Group Corp's wireless business has been arrested on suspicion of leaking company information, the telecommunications firm said on Saturday. SoftBank Corp said it had dismissed the former manager after it became aware of the alleged theft, adding that none of the stolen information was highly confidential. The former employee is suspected of passing information to Russia's trade mission in Japan in exchange for money, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing the police.

  • Benzinga

    'Penny' Is A Robot Food Runner That Just Got Backed By Softbank

    The robot is designed specifically to navigate across a busy dining room and debuted at the 2018 National Restaurant Association trade show, according to Nation's Restaurant News. The robot is in service at a handful of restaurants in Los Angeles, a senior living center in California, along with restaurants and cafes in Tokyo and Seoul. Softbank said in a statement obtained by RNR it sees a role for robotics to facilitate the ordering, running, and delivering food aspects of running a restaurant business.

  • Reuters

    SoftBank-backed CloudMinds slashes workforce amid cash burn -sources

    SoftBank-backed cloud robotics and artificial intelligence startup CloudMinds is slashing its global workforce as it burns through cash after repeated attempts to list on the public markets, people familiar with the matter said. Headed by former China Mobile research whiz Bill Huang, money losing CloudMinds is slashing staff, three sources said, all of whom declined to be identified because the information is not public. The job cuts include China, two of the sources said, where the bulk of the company's workforce is based and from where most of its revenues originate.

  • Boston Dynamics appoints its first-ever new CEO
    TechCrunch

    Boston Dynamics appoints its first-ever new CEO

    After more than a quarter-century spent developing some of the industry’s most iconic and advanced machines, Boston Dynamics is a company in the midst of a profound transformation. This week, the Waltham, Mass.-based organization issued a number of key announcements, all focused on the same fundamental shift, as it readies the release of two commercial robots: Spot and Handle. The top of the company has recently seen its first major shakeup since its founding in the early 1990s.

  • Bloomberg

    Didi Fights to Prove It’s More Than Just China’s Uber

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.China’s Didi Chuxing, after two horrendous years in its ride-hailing business, is losing the confidence of at least some investors that it can live up to its once-lofty ambitions.Shares in Didi are trading privately at as much as a 40% discount to its peak valuation, according to people familiar with matter. They changed hands at about $33 to $35 per share in private trades late last year, compared with a record of $55 per share, the people said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private. A Didi representative declined to comment.While the private transactions were small and Didi has scores of investors, the hefty discount marks concern over a company that had ranked among the world’s premier startups with a valuation of $56 billion, according to CB Insights. Investors have begun to question whether the ride-hailing model can ever turn a profit after disappointing public offerings from Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. Didi, led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Cheng Wei, has endured even deeper troubles after the murder of two passengers and intense scrutiny from regulators.“Many investors are questioning whether Didi can ever turn profitable,” said Shawn Yang, an analyst at Blue Lotus Capital Advisors. “Uber and Lyft’s share tanks underscore skepticism about the industry as a whole.”It’s another challenge for SoftBank Group Corp. and founder Masayoshi Son, who took a hit last year with the implosion of WeWork. SoftBank is the biggest backer of ride-hailing companies, with stakes in Didi, Uber, Singapore’s Grab and India’s Ola.The Japanese company invested a total of about $18 billion in the sector, making it the biggest bet in Son’s portfolio, according to Sanford C. Bernstein. SoftBank took a writedown on those holdings after the decline in Uber shares, Bloomberg News reported in November.Still, Didi retains a dominant position in Chinese ride-hailing, with 93% of total daily active users in 2019, according to Bernstein. That gives it a powerful platform in an enormous market, despite the latest setbacks. In a vote of confidence, Toyota Motor Corp. put $600 million into Didi in July at the $56 billion valuation, according to a person familiar with the matter.Didi is trying to prove it can get back on track. It’s reviving expansion plans after a regulatory crackdown in the wake of the 2018 murders. It has stepped up safety measures, retooled management and turned to partners to broaden its network, a quicker way to expand with lower capital spending.“Didi is partnering with more third-party limousine companies,” said Julia Pan, a Shanghai-based analyst with UOB Kay Hian. ‘If it can maintain its commission above a certain rate, the demand is there and it should be able to make money eventually.”China’s Ride-Hailing Decline Hurting Car Sales, Bernstein SaysIt’s also trying to revive a lucrative car-pooling business and venturing into adjacent businesses, such as bike-sharing and food delivery. It’s expanding in Latin America, Australia and Japan, with an average of 4 million rides daily now outside of China.The company has deep cash reserves: It raised about $21 billion from backers including SoftBank, Toyota, Apple Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc., according to data compiled by Crunchbase. That’s helped it hold off competitors like Dida, Cao Cao and Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur.Still, ride-hailing has gone from the most celebrated new business to one of the most scrutinized. Uber lost more than $1 billion in the third quarter alone, while Lyft reported $464 million in red ink the same period.While Didi doesn’t disclose financials publicly, it lost $1.6 billion in 2018, according to 36Kr. Its rider and driver app usage slid by 5% and 23%, respectively, in the third quarter, according to Sanford C. Bernstein. Didi’s challenges have delayed its time-line for both profitability and an initial public offering.This year, it faces one new uncertainty: a mysterious viral outbreak in China that has killed 17 and infected hundreds.“The first half could be another challenging period for Didi amid a pneumonia outbreak,” said Pan. “Drivers could be reluctant to put in hours and passengers could cut back on trips and traveling.”To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Memphis Meats raised $161 million from SoftBank Group, Norwest and Temasek
    TechCrunch

    Memphis Meats raised $161 million from SoftBank Group, Norwest and Temasek

    Memphis Meats, a developer of technologies to manufacture meat, seafood and poultry from animal cells, has raised $161 million in financing from investors, including Softbank Group, Norwest and Temasek, the investment fund backed by the government of Singapore. The investment brings the company's total financing to $180 million. Previous investors include individual and institutional investors like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Threshold Ventures, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Finistere, Future Ventures, Kimbal Musk, Fifty Years and CPT Capital.

  • Bear Robotics, a company making robot waiters, just raised a $32 million round led by SoftBank
    TechCrunch

    Bear Robotics, a company making robot waiters, just raised a $32 million round led by SoftBank

    Back in August, we flagged a filing for you that we found interesting, one for a now 2.5-year-old, 40-person Redwood City, Calif.,-based startup called Bear Robotics that's been developing robots to deliver food to restaurant customers. The filing listed a $35.8 million target; Bear Robotics founder and CEO John Ha now tells us the final close, being announced today, was $32 million in Series A funding. The round was led by SoftBank Group, whose other recent robotics bets include the currently beleaguered food truck company Zume and, as we reported yesterday, Berkshire Grey, a seven-year-old, Lexington, Mass.-based company that makes pick, pack and sorting robots for fulfillment centers and that just raised a whopping $263 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank.

  • Financial Times

    SoftBank appoints telecoms veteran as India country head

    Japan’s SoftBank has appointed telecoms veteran Manoj Kohli as its India country head to handle government relations at a time when the companies it is backing are under intense scrutiny. The Japanese conglomerate has a number of investments in India, ranging from the country’s highest-valued start-up Paytm to Lenskart, an eyewear retailer. Oyo’s founder Ritesh Agarwal confirmed job cuts in India this month as he seeks to scale back operations after breakneck growth.

  • Uber Sells India Food Business to Zomato to Cut Losses
    Bloomberg

    Uber Sells India Food Business to Zomato to Cut Losses

    (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. will sell Uber Eats in India to local rival Zomato in a $172 million deal, according to a person familiar with the transaction, underscoring the ride-hailing giant’s effort to cut back on loss-making operations.Uber agreed to offload the business in return for 9.99% of the Indian startup, maintaining a foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing internet arenas, the companies said in a statement. As part of the deal, the U.S. company will shutter operations but direct all restaurants, delivery companies and diners to Zomato. Neither company offered up financial details but the person said the value of the Zomato shares Uber gets is estimated at about $172 million. The Indian startup was last valued at $2.2 billion.The deal marks yet another leg in a wave of consolidation sweeping the food delivery sector. Uber, which is trading well below the price at its initial public offering, seeks to hive off money-losing businesses to achieve its goal of being profitable -- before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization -- by 2021. While it will continue to vie with Ola -- also backed by SoftBank Group Corp. -- in ride-hailing, exiting the food business can help staunch bleeding in one of the most competitive markets in the region. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has impressed upon the companies within his massive portfolio the need to curtail excess and focus on the bottom line.“It is another proof point -- following our decision to exit Uber Eats South Korea in October 2019 -- of our commitment to take a hard look at Eats markets where we do not have a path to leadership,” said Nelson Chai, Uber’s chief financial officer, in a financial filing. “At least some of the investment that we would have otherwise made in India will now be redeployed to other countries we serve where we believe we have a clear path to No. 1 or No. 2.”Uber expects to see a gain of about $143 million, net of tax, as a result of the deal, according to the filing. The shares were up about 1.7% in premarket trading in New York Tuesday.Read more: Red-Hot Indian Online Food Arena Delivers its Second UnicornWhat Bloomberg Intelligence SaysUber’s sale of its Eats business in India makes sense, and echoes a similar step in South Korea as it cuts ties with unprofitable markets. Pulling out of India could kick up a 500 basis-point headwind to the Eats segment’s sales growth yet deliver a 10 percentage-point boost to its Ebitda margin, which remains substantially lower than those of peers such as Just Eat and Grubhub.\- Mandeep Singh, analystClick here for the research.Uber started its food-delivery business in India in 2017 with much fanfare and a huge marketing budget. The San Francisco-based company has since poured resources into the operations to lure users with bargain food deals delivered to the doorstep, but it’s pitted against competitors with powerful investors.Naspers-backed Swiggy and Zomato, backed by Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, now lead India’s food-delivery sector, which like elsewhere is showing signs of consolidation. Bangalore-based ANI Technologies Pvt, which owns the Ola ride-hailing brand, acquired the Indian unit of Foodpanda in December 2017 and also faces an uphill struggle against the two established players.Uber, whose shares are down 22% from their 2019 IPO price, said it will continue to expand its core Indian business after unloading Eats. Employees that lose their jobs as a result of the deal can reapply for other roles within the company, the person said.“India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local rides business,” Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said in the statement.(Updates with comments from CFO in fourth paragraph and adds early share trading.)\--With assistance from Saritha Rai.To contact the reporter on this story: Edwin Chan in Hong Kong at echan273@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Masayoshi Son Is No Angel. He Might Want to Give It a Try
    Bloomberg

    Masayoshi Son Is No Angel. He Might Want to Give It a Try

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The reputation of Masayoshi Son, the world’s most prolific unicorn breeder, came crashing down last year with the collapse of WeWork. An 80% writedown on The We Co., and a 970 billion yen ($8.8 billion) loss at the SoftBank Vision Fund delivered some cold hard truths about his vulnerability.You might think that Son would have learned his lesson. Instead, he’s doubling down, with plans to start a $108 billion fund that's even bigger than the first. To win back investors’ confidence, though, the chairman of SoftBank Group Corp. might want to consider a different tack: becoming an angel.That’s not just a euphemism. Angel investing would take Son back to basics. Compared with the SoftBank Vision Fund, a SoftBank Angel Fund should be:Much smaller: $50 billion max. Write lighter checks: Nothing larger than $10 million.(1) Invest earlier: No later than Series A.This concept of smaller, lighter, earlier ought to become a mantra. But it takes guts — Son would have to rein in the swagger that comes with writing fat paychecks. Not that his habit of throwing billions at Southeast Asian startups isn’t bold; but when that business already has a product, traction, brand awareness and market leadership, then you can’t exactly call it brave — especially when it’s other people’s money.Angel investors take a punt on new companies at the earliest stages, often before a product has been fully developed or any revenue acquired. In the past, they were generally rich individuals who knew the founders and were parting with a relatively modest amount of cash to give young entrepreneurs a leg up. The average angel and seed deal size in the fourth quarter was $1.8 million, according to Crunchbase News. When Son entered the venture capital scene in 2016 with a $97 billion checkbook, this old-school model of investing — based on the careful assessment of a startup’s revenue, return and growth — was thrown out the window. Son’s Vision Fund tends to invest much later, in rounds such as Series E, F or even H. Son also wielded his giant fund to pick winners, and by extension nominate losers, in ways that defied logic. He offered WeWork founder Adam Neumann just 12 minutes to make his pitch, and then told him that his company wasn’t being crazy enough, New York Magazine reported last year. Neumann should aim to make WeWork ten times bigger than originally planned, the founder of the co-working space operator was told.WeWork was by no means an exception. Son muscled his way into a host of startups, often forcing founders to choose between playing for Team SoftBank or getting defeated by it. Consider online lending startup Social Finance Inc. Co-founder Mike Cagney told Bloomberg Businessweek that Son gave him a choice: Take SoftBank’s money, or watch it go to a competitor. (He took the deal.) In 2019 alone, SoftBank was an investor in four of the world’s five largest funding rounds, according to a report by CB Insights. The result was not only implosions like WeWork, but overvalued unicorns like Uber Technologies Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. whose stocks have fallen since their IPOs. It also made many founders and investors wary of Son and his approach, which may be making it harder for him to cut deals.Masayoshi Son isn’t timid, to be sure. His reputation is built upon decades of courageous bets that netted him, his investors, and his founders billions of dollars. The most famous being Jack Ma and a little e-commerce company that became Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. But the past few years suggest he’s forgotten those roots as a supporter of scrappy young upstarts.Most recently, he’s reported to be offering up to $40 billion to help Indonesia build its new capital city. He’s already opted to join a steering committee that will oversee construction of the new metropolis on Borneo Island — 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) away from current capital Jakarta — alongside former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. While there’s something noble about offering advice to a developing nation as it grapples with congestion and flooding, it’s hard not to feel that Son is perhaps straying a bit far from his core mission. After all, he has his investors and staff to look after. Shifting to angel investing wouldn’t be entirely altruistic. This segment is the hottest sector of funding right now, according to data compiled by Crunchbase News. Whereas late-stage investing — the type the SoftBank Vision Fund specializes in — has declined over the past year, angel and early-stage investing is on the rise.Son prides himself on being a visionary, with a 100-year time horizon. That makes for good headlines and big numbers. But if he wants to secure his legacy, there’s nothing more honorable than being an angel.(1) Even $10 million is huge by some standards.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Private Equity's Mountain of Dry Powder Is a Danger Sign
    Bloomberg

    Private Equity's Mountain of Dry Powder Is a Danger Sign

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors keep flocking to private equity in Asia even though returns are declining. They should take heed: Payouts are likely to get worse from here, rather than better.The hunt for yield in a low-interest world has spurred institutional investors from China Investment Corp. to Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund to join the rush into the alternative asset class. Private equity firms founded by former veterans of Warburg Pincus and KKR & Co. are seeking to raise at least $4.5 billion for new funds investing in China, Cathy Chan of Bloomberg News reported Thursday, in the latest sign of the region’s burgeoning appetite for nonpublic investments.New York-based KKR, meanwhile, is targeting more than $12.5 billion for its fourth Asian fund, which would surpass the record $10.6 billion raised by China’s Hillhouse Capital Group in 2018.(2) At the end of June, private equity firms in Asia were sitting on a record $361 billion of unspent capital, according to London-based market research firm Preqin.The returns haven’t lived up to the hype. Funds focused on Asia generated an internal rate of return of 12.8% last year, down from 15.5% in 2018, according to Preqin. That’s below what investors could have made outside the region: North American funds chalked up an IRR of 16.4% in 2019 while those centered on Europe returned 18%.Even brand-name private equity shops have sputtered. Hillhouse’s $10.6 billion fund saw its IRR slip by 5.16 percentage points between September 2018 and the third quarter of 2019. Over the same period, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 3.3%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. KKR’s two existing Asian mega-funds have had varying success.It’s getting harder for private equity firms to realize returns by selling companies on stock markets as the world wakes up to the reality that not all hot technology startups will be IPO winners. That follows disappointing debuts for high-profile names such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., along with the collapse of WeWork’s U.S. share offering last year.Much of the private-equity action in Asia has focused on China, which has also had its share of setbacks. OneConnect Financial Technology Co., a unit of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., cut the size of its U.S. IPO by almost half last month, while Oyo Hotels is firing thousands of staff in China and India. Like WeWork and Uber, both companies are backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.The U.S.-China trade war has also had a damping effect, with some private equity-invested companies finding themselves embroiled in the tensions. Facial recognition startup Megvii Technology Ltd. delayed its IPO in Hong Kong after it was included in a U.S. blacklist cutting off its access to key American technology. Bytedance Inc., owner of the wildly popular video app TikTok, is now a subject of a U.S. national security review, and is weighing the sale of a majority stake in the unit.All that considered, it isn’t surprising that the value of private-equity backed trade sales dropped 14% to $28.5 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while share sales by private equity owners slumped 27% to $6.4 billion, declining for a third year to the lowest since 2013.While the U.S.-China phase one trade deal signed last week offers some hope of an improvement in conditions, money is still likely to keep piling up in Asian private equity. For one thing, there aren’t many better alternatives. Institutional investors need to diversify: They can’t keep all their funds in U.S. equities, even if these have been going gangbusters for years.But that doesn't mean individuals need to follow suit. Private equity investments are more risky because they are illiquid and take years to pay off. Smart investors should see the ever-growing piles of dry powder as a sign of danger rather than success.\--With assistance from Dani Yang and Irene Huang.  (Corrects to remove non-annualized MSCI index comparisons in the second chart, deletes reference to KKR fund underperforming the market.)(1) The Hillhouse fund is the largest devoted specificallly to Asian investing. Chinese state-backed, or policy, funds such as a $29 billion vehicle created in October to invest in the semiconductor industry are larger.To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at ngopalan3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com

    A SoftBank Executive Defends the Vision Fund and Calls the Idea Behind WeWork ‘Very, Very Good’

    Speaking at a conference in Germany, a Vision Fund partner says that, as with any venture capital portfolio, “you get the bad news first.”

  • Bloomberg

    WeWork Is Still a Good Business at Its Core, SoftBank Says

    (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. said it believes WeWork’s core business is still good despite governance and execution challenges.“We are still in it, we are involved, we are helping the company because we believe the idea at its core is very, very good,” said Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at SoftBank’s Vision Fund. “We will help solve WeWork’s problems with corporate governance with the next set of management,” he said at Munich’s Digital Life and Design conference Saturday.Nishar said he doesn’t expect every one of the fund’s 80-plus companies to be successful and while the fund has had some “really good” outcomes, flexible office company WeWork hasn’t gone the way it planned.WeWork Hits the Brakes in New York, London After IPO DebacleWeWork put a sharp break on its expansion plans after it shelved an attempt to file for an initial public offering in September. Investors were spooked by steep losses and profligate spending.The company, which SoftBank now owns more than 80% of after a $9.5 billion rescue package, has sold off several business units and switched out its top management including founder Adam Neumann in an attempt to steer the business to profitability.To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Syed in London at ssyed35@bloomberg.net;Oliver Sachgau in Munich at osachgau@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Rachel GrahamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank offers $40 billion investment for a new Indonesian capital
    MarketWatch

    SoftBank offers $40 billion investment for a new Indonesian capital

    CEO Masayoshi Son and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are on the steering committee to oversee the construction of the new capital city on Borneo island.

  • Indonesian minister says SoftBank offering to invest up to $40 billion in new capital
    Reuters

    Indonesian minister says SoftBank offering to invest up to $40 billion in new capital

    SoftBank has offered to invest up to $40 billion in the new capital city Indonesia plans to build on Borneo island, a minister said on Friday, though the Japanese tech conglomerate said no figure had been suggested yet. Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced in August plans to move the administrative capital to East Kalimantan province, on Borneo, to relieve Jakarta from "a heavy burden" due to overcrowding and pollution. Indonesia has previously put the cost of moving the capital at $33 billion, but Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia's coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, said Softbank Group Corp had offered up to $40 billion.