April 25, 2018 / 5:25 AM / 2 years ago

SoftBank to move ride-hailing stakes worth $20 billion to Vision Fund: FT

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

(Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Group (9984.T) plans to shift more than $20 billion of its investments in top ride-hailing companies including Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], Ola, Grab and Didi Chuxing into its Saudi-backed Vision technology fund, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The proposed transfer will provide the fast-growing ride-service firms access to the Vision Fund’s resources, hoping to work closely and create synergies in businesses across the world, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the talks.

SoftBank was not immediately available for comment.

SoftBank’s stakes in Uber, China’s Didi, Brazil’s 99, India’s Ola and Singapore’s Grab could be transferred into the fund within months, the newspaper reported.

The Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund, is run by SoftBank board member Rajeev Misra and has become a powerful investor within the technology sector since its close to $93 billion establishment last year.

Due to the restructuring in investment, the invested capital of the Vision Fund is expected to increase but financial details of the transaction are not clear, FT said.

Through its investment arm centered on the Vision Fund, SoftBank has already funneled billions into tech firms around the world.

Owing to direct investment in Uber by Saudi Arabia’s state-owned sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), investments have been kept separate to the Vision Fund, FT said.

The PIF, which has assets totaling over $220 billion, paid $3.5 billion for a stake in Uber in mid-2016.

Reporting by Shalini Nagarajan in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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