Financial Performance

SoftBank Group Warns of Big Losses

The company cited disastrous bets on tech companies.
Lauren MuskettApril 13, 2020

SoftBank announced it was expecting to record an operating loss of 1.35 trillion yen ($12.5 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, citing a collapse in the value of its flagship tech investments.

The company’s $100 billion Vision Fund is expected to lose $16.7 billion.

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SoftBank Group recorded an operating profit of more than 2 trillion yen ($18.6 billion) last year. The loss would be the first for the group as a whole in 15 years.

SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son

“The difference in operating income is mainly attributable to the expected recording of investment loss of approximately 1.8 trillion [yen] at SoftBank Vision Fund for fiscal 2019, resulting from a decrease in the fair value of investments due to the deteriorating market environment,” SoftBank said in a statement.

The Vision Fund reported an operating loss of 225 billion yen ($2 billion) for the three months ended December 31, a drop of 99% year-over-year. The company said losses to investments held outside the fund, including WeWork and the satellite operator OneWeb, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, would also hurt earnings.

Earlier this month, SoftBank announced it was withdrawing a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork that was part of a bailout package following WeWork’s failed initial public offering. WeWork announced it was suing SoftBank in response.

SoftBank said it had committed more than $14.25 billion to WeWork, including $5.45 billion since October 2019.

Last month, SoftBank announced a plan to sell off $41 billion in assets to buy back its shares and pay down debt. It also said it was hiring an independent search firm to recruit as many as three new board members to join the company this year.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, in February, suggested the company had scaled back plans for a second Vision Fund. “I think that our next fund size should be a little bit smaller, because we have caused concerns and anxiety to a lot of people,” he said.

Shares of SoftBank Group were down 5.7% in early afternoon trading Monday.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images