SoftBank Vision Fund sells 4.9m shares of high-flying portfolio firm Guardant Health

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

SoftBank Vision Fund shed 4.9 million shares of high-flying Guardant Health Inc. as the fund’s other investments faced valuation and regulatory turmoil.

The Guardant shares were sold for $77 apiece on Wednesday, according to a Friday filing. That’s below the cancer-testing company’s record-high close of $110.30 in August, but still a hefty hike from last year’s $19 initial public offering price. The fund remains Guardant’s largest holder with more than 20 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Softbank declined to comment if further share sales were planned.

Stock in Redwood City, California-based Guardant sank as much as 7.8% intraday on Wednesday, even as analysts jumped to the company’s defense without offering an explanation for the move.

The more than $370 million stake sale is worth roughly half the purchase price SoftBank is said to have paid for another venture. As WeWork readies for a contentious public offering, SoftBank plans to increase its exposure to WeWork and parent company We Co., with an investment of at least $750 million in the IPO, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Guardant remains one of Vision Fund’s more profitable holdings. Uber Technologies Inc. and other large Vision Fund investments with ties to the gig economy, such as food delivery startup DoorDash Inc., faced a new threat on Wednesday as California labor legislation seeking to reclassify workers as employees advanced. Uber is down 26% since its listing in May.

Bloomberg