SoftBank Random Reach $ 16 Billion as Ride-Hailing Luster Dims

(Bloomberg) – In the months leading up to Uber Technologies Inc.'s market debut, Masayoshi Son made a habit of pointing out that SoftBank Group Corp. is the world's largest investor in equestrian companies. Suddenly, it doesn't seem like an enviable position.

SoftBank has lost around $ 16 billion in market value over the last three trading days, when Uber ran nearly 20% below its IPO price. On Tuesday, the shares in Tokyo-based shares fell by 5.4%, the largest decline since December 25. The overall market was also down, while Nikkei 225 average contracted 0.6% among rising US and China trading tensions.

Just two months ago, Son told the audience at the Milken Institute conference in Tokyo that SoftBank controls 90% of the rallying market worldwide through its portfolio companies that also include China's Didi Chuxing, Southeast Asia Grab and India's Ola. However, as shares in Uber and less publicly traded competitor Lyft Inc. entered a tailspin, it begins to look like a risk factor.

Key Insights

Uber closed 11% percent lower at $ 37.10 on Monday, approaching what Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives called "white knuckle" territory. In addition to the $ 7.7 billion investment in Uber, Son and his $ 100 billion Vision Fund have raised more than $ 10 billion to Didi, $ 3 billion in Grab and $ 2.25 billion in General Motor Co.'s self-propelled unit. Cruise. SoftBank shares rose to 19 years high before Uber's stock market listing, thanks to a record $ 600 billion ($ 5.5 billion) share purchase announced in February. On Tuesday, the Japanese company stated that all ammunition has been used, with 100% of the purchase already completed. Uber and Lyft's results have also raised questions about investor appetite for IPOs with large start-ups that prioritize growth over profitability. WeWork Cos., Where SoftBank is also the largest shareholder, is another gambling giant who announced plans for listing. "The main point is not just how Uber acted on its first day, but in light of market conditions, it can still absorb another great IPO as loss-making WeWork," said Amir Anvarzadeh, market strategist at Asymmetric Advisors Pte, in a note to clients.

(Stock repurchase updates result in third sentence.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at, Robert Fenner

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