SoftBank launches clean verify firm to hitch SPAC craze

SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son speaks during a press conference on November 6, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.

Tomohiro Ohsumi | Getty Images

SoftBank Group filed on Monday to set up a special-purpose acquisition company and announced it would raise $ 525 million to invest in a technology company.

The Japanese investment giant is the latest big name to jump on the wave of so-called blank check firms, where an investment vehicle enters the public markets and then uses the money raised to merge with a private company.

“Our SPAC will bridge SoftBank’s private and public investment strategies by enabling us to work with a rapidly growing, IPO-ready technology company. We believe that our broad international footprint and deep local presence give us access to a variety of compelling investment opportunities have networks, “the company said in a security filing.

SPACs have seen strong interest and participation from high profile investors in 2020, including hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. The deals raised more than $ 60 billion this year, according to Renaissance Capital.

Softbank has been one of the largest investors in private tech and technology companies, with mixed success. The company’s previous investments include Uber, ByteDance, and WeWork.

The company was also a controversial player in the public markets that year. SoftBank was reportedly the “Nasdaq whale” buying large amounts of options on technology stocks.

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