SoftBank Group has taken one other multibillion-greenback hit from its ambitious, however pricey bets on as soon as excessive-flying corporations like Uber and WeWork, placing rising strain on the Japanese conglomerate to get its monetary home so as.
The corporate and its founder and chief, Masayoshi Son, have dominated the world of know-how funding by means of the $100 billion Vision Fund. Extra just lately, the corporate has become a target for the hedge-fund giant Elliott Management, which has been urging modifications on the Japanese agency, together with governance overhauls and inventory buybacks.
On Wednesday, SoftBank might have given Elliott one more reason to complain. It mentioned the Imaginative and prescient Fund and different investments value its backside line 225.1 billion yen, or about $2 billion, within the remaining three months of last year.
Overall, SoftBank reported a revenue of about $501 million for the quarter, nicely wanting what traders had anticipated. Its revenue was lower than one-tenth of what it had posted one year earlier. Its working revenue fell by 99%.
One year in the past, SoftBank was driving excessive. WeWork and Uber, two corporations by which it had invested closely, deliberate to promote shares to the general public, elevating hopes of excessive valuations and massive returns.
Since then, it has weathered numerous main setbacks. Essentially the most spectacular was the cancellation of WeWork’s initial public offering after the revelation of great governance points, together with allegations of self-dealing by the company’s then-chief executive. In November, SoftBank stated it had lost $4.6 billion on its investment in WeWork.
Different stumbles compounded the losses. Uber’s I.P.O. was disappointing. Different investments have additionally soured; its stake within the dog-walking start-up Wag was sold at a loss.
In a presentation on Wednesday, Mr. Son didn’t seem chastened. He performed down considerations about SoftBank’s future, dismissing worries in regards to the firm’s huge company money owed and anemic returns on its portfolio of generally quixotic tech investments.
He additionally cited SoftBank’s victory in the US the day earlier than associated with Sprint, the American wireless service that the corporate has spent close to help. On Tuesday, a choice approved a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, one other American wireless provider, to type a more powerful competitor to rivals like AT&T and Verizon.