SoftBank builds $1.2b Amazon stake; invests in Netflix, Tesla

REUTERS/Issei Kato

SoftBank Group Corp has built a stake worth around $1.2 billion in e-commerce firm Amazon, regulatory filings showed on Monday, as the tech conglomerate expands its investing activities beyond its recent focus on unlisted startups.

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son last week announced a new investment management subsidiary that would park excess cash from a massive asset sale programme in liquid stocks. SoftBank has spent around $10 billion buying shares.

In addition to Amazon, the group has built stakes in Netflix Inc, Tesla Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc, filings showed.

SoftBank also disclosed a stake in chip supplier Nvidia Corp worth around $220 million based on Friday’s closing price. It exited its stake in the firm last year. SoftBank is currently in talks with Nvidia over a possible sale of chip designer Arm, media have reported.

The group is pivoting towards investing outside the $100 billion Vision Fund with its focus on unlisted, late-stage startups. The fund has buffeted the group’s earnings as the value of its holdings has fallen below the acquisition price.

The value of many of the listed shares is rising, driven by a tech stock rally, with Tesla’s shares up more than 60% since the end of June. Son has dropped operating profit as a measure of his group’s performance, saying the value of the assets is a better yardstick.

SoftBank also disclosed stakes in Chinese video sites Bilibili Inc and iQIYI Inc. iQIYI is currently being probed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Reuters

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).

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

  • 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.

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).

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

  • 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.