TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) said on Wednesday it plans to transfer its stakes in ride-sharing firms to the SoftBank Vision Fund, a move which if approved would make the fund one of the world’s biggest investors in the fast-changing industry.
SoftBank plans to transfer, subject to approval, its combined $12.9 billion stake in Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] and Didi Chuxing. It also aims to transfer its stakes in Grab and Ola, SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son told a news conference.
The move would provide the fund’s investors - which include Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn) (2317.TW) and the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi - significant exposure to the ride-sharing industry, which is being shaken up by consolidation in which SoftBank is playing a role.
In March, Uber said it would sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, with the U.S. ride-sharing firm focusing on a battle with Ola in India.
Son’s reputation as a visionary investor has attracted enough money to create the world’s largest private equity fund which, as of last May, stood at over $93 billion.
When combined with SoftBank’s smaller Delta Fund, SoftBank’s private equity arm had at the end of March invested $29.7 billion in 25 technology firms, with investments this year including dog-walking app Wag and construction startup Katerra.
Steered by founder and CEO Son, SoftBank has become a major global technology investor as it looks to create a group of leading tech companies powered by interconnected devices and artificial intelligence.
The company’s growing technology