Japanese fashion tycoon Maezawa shows off $900m SoftBank payday

FILE PHOTO - SoftBank Corp. placard is prepared during a ceremony to mark the company's debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan, December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Japan’s Yusaku Maezawa on Friday posted footage of a $900 million payday for the fashion magnate following his sale of a stake in Zozo Inc, the online fashion retailer he founded, to SoftBank Group Corp.

In a video posted to YouTube, Maezawa visited a Tokyo bank to update his bank book, which showed a new balance of around 100 billion yen ($900 million).

“It’s nerve-wracking!” Maezawa said as he entered the branch.

The windfall follows a tender offer by Z Holdings, which is controlled by SoftBank’s domestic wireless unit, for half of Zozo’s shares this month.

The deal saw Maezawa reduce his stake in the fashion company to 18%.

Maezawa made 150 billion yen in the deal but a third has already been used to pay down debt, he said in the Youtube video from the seat of his chauffeur-driven car.

The former punk band drummer is well-known for his love of high-end art and sports cars.

Maezawa, who has a close relationship with SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and is planning a trip around the moon in a rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, stepped down as Zozo CEO following a series of botched initiatives.

His stake sale is the latest pay-out by SoftBank to a wealthy company founder.

In September the investment conglomerate bailed out office-sharing startup WeWork in a deal that saw co-founder Adam Neumann exit with a $1.7 billion package.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.