SoftBank to write down minimum US$5b for WeWork, other losses

SoftBank to write down minimum US$5b for WeWork, other losses

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2 -min read
Listen to this article

[TOKYO] SoftBank Group Corp is poised to write down at least US$5 billion to account for a sharp drop in the value of some of its biggest holdings including WeWork and Uber Technologies, Bloomberg reported.

Citing people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg said SoftBank, which runs the US$100 billion Vision Fund, would announce the writedown along with its second-quarter earnings on Nov 6.

A SoftBank spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Shares in SoftBank fell as much as 2.7 per cent in Tokyo morning trade

SoftBank this week agreed to spend more than US$10 billion to take over WeWork, doubling down on an ill-fated investment in the US office-space sharing startup.

Moody's analyst Motoki Yanase said the US$5 billion dollar writedown would have a "relatively small" effect on SoftBank's investment portfolio, which stood at about US$240 billion as of June.

Moody's affirmed SoftBank Group's credit rating at Ba1 on Wednesday, one notch below investment grade.

But Mr Yanase added that the possibility that WeWork's situation could deteriorate further could not be ruled out. "SoftBank may need to mobilise more debt to rescue the company," he said.

WeWork abandoned its initial public offering last month, after investors questioned its large losses, the sustainability of its business model and the way it was being run.

As part of SoftBank's bailout, WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann agreed to relinquish control of the company in exchange for a US$1.7 billion payoff.

The bailout comes as SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son is seeking to raise US$108 billion for its second Vision Fund.


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