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SoftBank to invest additional $2 bn in WeWork

Reuters January 7 | Updated on January 08, 2019 Published on January 08, 2019

SoftBank Group Corp will inject another $2 billion in WeWork Cos Inc this year, bringing the Japanese conglomerate's total investment in the office space provider to more than $10 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The new investment will value WeWork at $47 billion, one of the sources said. SoftBank will separately convert previously purchased warrants into equity at a valuation of $20 billion, the source added. The new investment extending its minority stake, which could be announced as early as on Tuesday, will not include any money from SoftBank's Vision Fund, according to the second source.

Saudi Arabia is the biggest investor in The Vision Fund, which was a major backer of SoftBank's early investments in WeWork and holds stakes in other technology companies, including ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. The new round will bring total SoftBank investments in money-losing WeWork to about $10.4 billion and comes following declines in global stock markets which have hurt the value of technology shares.

With tech firms buffeted by fears of a slowdown in global growth and Sino-U.S. trade friction, shares in one portfolio company, publicly listed chipmaker Nvdia Corp, have fallen 50 percent from their October high. The WeWork investment comes after SoftBank raised $23.5 billion last month listing its domestic telco, SoftBank Corp , in Japan's biggest-ever IPO. Shares fell 15 percent in the unit's trading debut last month, erasing $9 billion in value and are currently trading 5 percent below the IPO price.

In August, WeWork secured $1 billion from SoftBank in the form of a convertible note followed by $3 billion in November in the form of equity warrants.

Published on January 08, 2019
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