Softbank-Saudi Tech Fund Becomes World's Biggest With $93B of Capital

22 May, 2017, 15:28 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • U.S. dollar banknotes lie on a table in this

The fund's investors will also include Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Taiwan's Foxconn Technology (TPE:2354) and Japan's Sharp Corp (TYO:6753), as well as SoftBank and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

SoftBank's Vision Fund is officially the world's biggest private equity fund after it announced on Saturday that it had closed $93 billion.

Son was among the first business people to meet Donald Trump after his November election victory and pledged to invest $50 billion in the United States, winning open praise from the then-president-elect.

The announcement comes as Trump visits Saudi Arabia as a part of his first overseas tour as USA president.

This coming as Softbank founder Masayoshi Son plans to accelerate his financing of cutting-edge technologies and startups.

"SBG created the SoftBank Vision Fund as a result of its strongly held belief that the next stage of the Information Revolution is underway, and building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large-scale long-term investment".

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Japanese telecom group SoftBank announced the first major close of its technology-focused Vision Fund in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with $93bn of committed capital.

The Wall Street Journal in an article Friday detailed how Softbank had "haggled" with the Saudi fund had "over control of the money, investment strategy and questions about its commitment".

The fund may also serve the interests of Saudi Arabia by helping Riyadh obtain access to foreign technology. Inc. and Supercell Oy, and the new fund will pursue a similar strategy of backing technology companies at all stages.

SoftBank previously said it would commit US$28 billion to the fund, including 25% of its stake in UK-based semiconductor and software company ARM Holdings Plc - worth US$8 billion.

"Uber is redefining the transportation industry now; Airbnb is doing it to the hotel industry". At that size, it would be nearly five-times larger than the current biggest private equity fund, Blackstone Group's Blackstone Capital Partners V. Tokyo-based SoftBank has already agreed to invest at least $25bn. "There is a big bang coming and it's too good of a chance to pass up". Rajeev Misra, SoftBank's head of strategic finance, will be chief executive officer of SB Investment Advisers and a member of the fund's investment committee.

Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu of newly formed Centricus, who advised on structuring and fund raising efforts for the Vision Fund, will continue their roles as advisers.

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