SoftBank Group rakes in $3.8B gain on Uber stake

Japan’s SoftBank Group announced a stock split while keeping the per-share dividend unchanged for the year, effectively doubling its shareholder payout, as it also reported a $3.8 billion valuation gain on its stake in Uber.

The news comes at a time when SoftBank and its almost $100 billion Vision Fund stand at a possible inflection point with some of its big tech bets like Uber headed towards public listings, in what investors and industry experts see as a test of SoftBank’s investment strategy.

The group is also considering listing the Saudi-backed Vision Fund, which has invested roughly $80 billion in around 80 tech firms, a source told Reuters last week.

A second Vision Fund will be announced soon, SoftBank Group founder and CEO Masayoshi Son said at a news conference on Thursday, adding it would be similar in size to the first fund with SoftBank likely to be the only investor initially.

The fund’s stake in Uber, which is set to make its market debut on Friday, grew 418 billion yen ($3.8 billion) in value, while its share in OYO added 154 billion yen ($1.4 billion) in value.

Overall, the fair value rose for 29 firms and fell for 12 over the period, SoftBank said, with the rest unchanged.

The value of its stake in Guardant Health, a Vision Fund portfolio company listed last year, grew 203 billion yen.

Aided by the soaring valuations of its tech investments, the Japanese conglomerate’s operating profit for the year ended March jumped 80.5% to 2.4 trillion yen ($22 billion).

L&T increases stake in Mindtree to 23.9%(finance strategy)

L&T has purchased for more than Rs 637 crore over 65 lakh shares of the Bengaluru-headquartered mid-tier IT firm at Rs 980 per share on May 8 to take the holding close to the 26%, when the open offer is triggered. The engineering giant has engaged Axis Capital to buy 15% shares of Mindtree from the market. 

L&T said in March that it would make an open offer to buy additional 31% stake in the IT services firm after signing a deal with Mindtree’s long-term investor and Cafe Coffee Day promoter V G Siddhartha to buy his 20.32% stake in the company for Rs 3,269 crore.

On April 30, L&T bought nearly 20.3% stake from Siddhartha through a block deal.

“At this price (Rs 980 apiece) it is richly valued for the shareholders. It is left to them to go for the open offer or sell in the market. The important thing will be to see what the large shareholders such as Nalanda Capital do,” said Sriram Subramanian, managing director, InGovern, proxy advisory firm.

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