Masayoshi Son presented his graphic palette to illustrate his financial results. But this year, the Japanese billionaire, who was often teased for his colorful presentations, did not decide to present his conglomerate SoftBank Group in the form of a huge hen laying golden eggs, like last year, but rather as a victim of numerous crises. because its financial results are catastrophic.
Pointing to dramatic black-and-white photos, a pandemic, a conflict in Ukraine or even rising commodity prices, the CEO said that Vision Fund 1 and 2, giant investment funds piloted by SoftBank, recorded more than a fiscal year ending in March. last year, was a record loss of $ 27 billion. These funds are partly financed by other large investors, including Saudi Arabia, Masayoshi Son said that part of these losses, directly attributed to the SoftBank Group, amounted to $ 13 billion.
Defeat of Hornbeam, Didi and Kupang
Vision funds, which have bet more than $ 130 billion on dozens of listed companies and hundreds of private companies in which SoftBank has invested heavily, will be hit hard by the collapse of those values. The Japanese leader, who has always said he invests instinctively in betting on revolutionary startups, must helplessly watch falling prices for securities on the Grab and Didi transport platforms, which have fallen more than 65% since the beginning. .
The share of Korean e-commerce specialist Coupang, whose largest shareholder is SoftBank, lost 66% in four months. Even Alibaba, Masayoshi Sona’s first major investment in the early 2000s, is under threat. Aimed by the Chinese communist government in its campaign to take control of large private groups in the country, the e-commerce giant lost 62% of its value in New York in a year. “I think the market is in complete confusion,” Masayoshi Son whispered before announcing the change in strategy.
Before the “slide” labeled “Defense”, the businessman, who has already lost billions due to the WeWork fiasco, explained that he intends to significantly slow down his investment – he invested 450 in four years for the Vision Fund – and now take a closer look at business models , which he aims. “You probably don’t think it’s like the Son you know, and it’s true, but now we’re going to be offended differently,” said the manager, whose return on investment is now much lower than other large funds. specializing in those.
To improve the results, the investor intends to encourage private companies, of which he is the majority shareholder, to accelerate the IPO to achieve a specific increase in capital. SoftBank and funds still hold many unprofitable groups, the real value of which is very difficult to estimate.
He also intends to soon succeed in listing ARM Holdings, a chip design company in the United States, which he hoped to sell to Nvidia until various competition authorities abandoned his operation. Praising the work of ARM, the boss assured that the group will be a key player in the “information and data revolution”, which, he said, will lead the world economy in the coming decades. “We still believe in achieving this innovation,” he said.