Softbank paid $32 billion for the company in 2016, since when it has become loss-making – losing $200 million on sales of $1.4 billion in the nine months to December 31st 2017. Additionally, there were $370 million worth of write-offs.
25% of Arm was sold last year to Softbank’s Vision Fund for a reported $8 billion. Arm’s China operations have been transferred to the control of Chinese investors.
Softbank’s debt has risen to $147 billion and the company is relinquishing control of its US telco Sprint and wants to IPO its Japanese telco.
Yesterday Son said he was selling Softbank’s taxi holdings – in Uber, Didi Chuxing, Grab and Ola – to the Vision Fund, though it’s not revealed for how much. The stake is reported to be worth $12.9 billion.
Yesterday Son said the Vision Fund had sold its stake in Indian on-line retailer Flipkart for $4 billion which it acquired eight months ago for $2.5 billion.
The Vision Fund raised $93 billion from international investors – including $45 billion from Saudi Arabia – of which it has, so far, spent $29.7 billion on visionary tech investments including the dog-walking app Wag.
This is machine-gun fire investing and divesting.