Over the next four years, SoftBank will be investing $50 billion in the United States as part of the new tech mega-fund the company is raising. Few details were provided on the commitment, but the focus is mostly expected to be on investments in tech startups and technology companies. The deal was announced by president-elect Donald Trump via Twitter after he met the founder of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son in New York. The warm reception given to Mr. Son from Mr. Trump is going to give a fresh impetus to the possibility that the former’s Japanese group, which boasts a controlling interest in Sprint, might make an attempt to purchase T-Mobile.
After the announcement, shares of both companies saw an increase of 1.5% in their share price. Mr. Son had been planning to bring up the issue of their T-Mobile deal, which was a big failure, in front of the president elect, in order to give an example of poor regulation. In the past, US antitrust regulators have frequently clashed with SoftBank over the efforts made by Sprint for purchasing T-Mobile. This is mostly due to the fact that the resulting deal would combine the third and fourth largest mobile carriers in the country.
The president-elect tweeted that Masa (SoftBank) had agreed to invest $50 billion in the country, which would bring about 50,000 new jobs. He added that Masa had said they would have never done so if he hadn’t won the election. A new tech fund had been announced by SoftBank in October, named the SoftBank Vision Fund, and it is aimed at investing approximately $100 billion all over the globe. SoftBank has partnered with the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, which is a cornerstone investor. Only five years have been given to the SoftBank Vision Fund for deployment of its capital.
After meeting with Mr. Trump, Son said that he had come to offer his congratulations and believed that the US would become great again. He didn’t disclose the investments that would be made and how new jobs will be created. He added that money would be pumped into startup companies by SoftBank for opening up new job opportunities, but no details were provided about the investment plan. A similar, but separate, commitment had been made by Mr. Son to India earlier this week. He had claimed to invest $10 billion in the country over the next decade.
It was also disclosed that Foxconn, known for manufacturing Apple products, will also be a part of this investment plan. It has frequently worked with SoftBank in the past, but it remains unclear as to what role it will play in the planned investment. Apart from Sprint, SoftBank also owns shares in the ride-hailing company Lyft. It had acquired ARM in July, a British chip designer for a deal priced at $32 billion. The Japanese firm has said that it plans to make more such deals in the future as part of the investments involved in the SoftBank Vision Fund.