'I Regret It In Many Ways:' SoftBank Chairman On WeWork Investment

SoftBank Group Corp (TYO:9984)(OTC: SFTBY) Chairman Masayoshi Son said he made a judgment error investing in WeWork that ultimately cost the investment bank its worst quarterly loss in history, the Wall Street Journal

Benzinga · 11/07/2019 11:53

SoftBank Group Corp (TYO:9984)(OTC: SFTBY) Chairman Masayoshi Son said he made a judgment error investing in WeWork that ultimately cost the investment bank its worst quarterly loss in history, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

What Happened

“My own investment judgment was really bad. I regret it in many ways,” Son said at a news conference in Tokyo.

“I shut my eyes to a lot of his negative aspects,” the billionaire said, referring to WeWork’s founder Adam Neumann.

A Wretched Deal

SoftBank acquired 80% ownership of the co-working space startup in October, in a $9.5 billion rescue deal that would save WeWork’s sinking boat.

Neuman had to sever most of his ties to the startup post-acquisition but walked away with $1.7 billion.

SoftBank posted a $6.5 billion loss in the third quarter, its first quarterly operating loss in 14 years, according to Bloomberg. WeWork alone cost the investment veteran $4.6 billion.

What’s Next

Son pledged he wouldn't rush to offer rescue deals to a company SoftBank has invested in again, the Wall Street Journal said. But he won’t let the WeWork mess get in the way of SoftBank expanding its Vision Fund, that invests in promising technology companies.

Son said that the fund had posted $11 billion profit since its inception in 2017, even after this quarter’s losses, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“There’s no need for me to be so overcome with regret that I wither away,” Son said. “The vision remains the same.”

Photo credit: nobihaya, Wikimedia