SoftBank’s Son hails ‘golden eggs’ as Vision Fund rallies

Landmark fund recovers from WeWork flop and Covid slowdown

SoftBank’s Vision Fund unit rebounded from a loss to record an 844 billion yen (€6.64 billion) third quarter profit. Photograph:  Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

SoftBank’s Vision Fund unit rebounded from a loss to record an 844 billion yen (€6.64 billion) third quarter profit. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

 

SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son boasted of delivering “golden eggs” on Monday, after his company’s Vision Fund unit rebounded from a loss to record an 844 billion yen (€6.64 billion) third quarter profit.

The profit marks a sea change from a year earlier when high-profile misses such as the flopped IPO of office sharing firm WeWork and the Covid-19 pandemic forced Mr Son to sell assets to stabilise his investing empire.

“Our vision never changed,” Mr Son told a news conference in Tokyo after his company announced its latest results. “Golden eggs are not produced by chance,” he added, returning to a favoured analogy that describes SoftBank as a goose that backs fast-growing companies such as Alibaba that are its golden eggs.

Softbank-backed firms that went public during the quarter include selling platform Opendoor and food delivery app operator Doordash, with unrealised gains in the latter totalling $10.7 billion.

Almost half of the first Vision Fund’s portfolio, which includes a stake in Uber Technologies, was exited or listed at the end of December, offering liquidity to the fund backed by the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

During the third quarter, Softbank Group’s net profit ballooned more than 20 times to 1.17 trillion yen. That compared with an estimate of 171 billion yen from four analysts. – Reuters