Japanese fashion tycoon Maezawa shows off $900 million SoftBank payday

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Yusaku Maezawa on Friday posted footage of a $900 million payday for the fashion magnate following his sale of a stake in Zozo Inc, the online fashion retailer he founded, to SoftBank Group Corp.

FILE PHOTO : Yusaku Maezawa, the chief executive of Zozo, which operates Japan's popular fashion shopping site Zozotown and is officially called Start Today Co, speaks at an event launching the debut of its formal apparel items, in Tokyo, Japan, July 3, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

In a video posted to YouTube, Maezawa visited a Tokyo bank to update his bank book, which showed a new balance of around 100 billion yen ($900 million).

“It’s nerve-wracking!” Maezawa said as he entered the branch.

The windfall follows a tender offer by Z Holdings, which is controlled by SoftBank’s domestic wireless unit, for half of Zozo’s shares this month.

The deal saw Maezawa reduce his stake in the fashion company to 18%.

Maezawa made 150 billion yen in the deal but a third has already been used to pay down debt, he said in the Youtube video from the seat of his chauffeur-driven car.

The former punk band drummer is well-known for his love of high-end art and sports cars.

Maezawa, who has a close relationship with SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and is planning a trip around the moon in a rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, stepped down as Zozo CEO following a series of botched initiatives.

His stake sale is the latest pay-out by SoftBank to a wealthy company founder.

In September the investment conglomerate bailed out office-sharing startup WeWork in a deal that saw co-founder Adam Neumann exit with a $1.7 billion package.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; editing by Jason Neely