SoftBank's Vision Fund Considers Slashing 10% Of Workforce Tyler Durden Wed, 05/27/2020 - 21:05 We recently noted that SoftBank Group's international arm slashed 10% of its employees in early May as it reported more substantial losses in 1Q20 than it had anticipated, mainly due to WeWork, though its investments in Vision Fund. It now appears SoftBank's 0 ...
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We recently noted that SoftBank Group's international arm slashed 10% of its employees in early May as it reported more substantial losses in 1Q20 than it had anticipated, mainly due to WeWork, though its investments in Vision Fund.
It now appears SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund is considering an employee reduction program that could slash upwards of 10% of the entire fund's workforce, according to Bloomberg sources.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, also the founder of Vision Fund, has had a string of bad investments since the WeWork implosion in 2019. The outbreak of the coronavirus essentially sealed WeWork's fate after a string of blowups among other SoftBank and Vision Fund portfolio companies.
Vision Fund has 500 employees, with many based in London, San Francisco, and Tokyo. The cuts are expected to be on all levels, one source said. The fund manages 80 portfolio companies, but due to the downturn in the global economy, 15 of the fund's startups could go bankrupt.
The fund has liquidated some of its holdings, halving its stake in dog walking startup Wag Labs last year. Son has said he'll sell $42 billion in assets to finance stock buybacks and reduce debt loads. Bloomberg notes Softbank is selling shares of its Alibaba Group Holding and is trying to negotiate a deal to sell its $20 billion T-Mobile US stake.
In a matter of months, Son, once heralded as the greatest momentum investor, has turned out to be "the greater fool" -- as his collapsing credibility fell as quick as WeWork's valuation.
Soon investors will be calling cycle tops the "WeWork Omen."