Masayoshi Son’s company, Softbank, is currently putting the finishing touches on a $100 billion investment fund called the Softbank Vision Fund.
The fund is expected to the the world’s largest technology investment fund, and claims investors such as Apple, Foxconn, Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, Qualcomm, and Saudi Arabia’s investment arm.
The way the fund was publicized suggested that it intended to invest in startups and emerging technologies. In December, Son told President-elect Donald Trump that $50 billion of the fund would be invested in US startups, according to Bloomberg.
But it turns out the majority of the fund will be invested in “larger investments” in private and public markets, according to new information reported by the New York Times on Thursday.
Three quarters of the $100 billion could be used to “grab a piece of an undervalued technology company trading on the stock exchange,” or do a private-equity deal, according to the report. It will still make smaller venture capital investments in startups with the remaining money.
However, bankers involved with the fund tell the New York Times, growth is the emphasis — so if the fund were to take a company private, it doesn’t intend to slash jobs, as happens in some private-equity deals.
The jobs aspect is key, because Son, who has publicly met with Trump at Trump Tower, has said the fund would bring 50,000 jobs to the United States.
Trump has claimed credit for the jobs created by the fund, too.
However, Apple, whose $1 billion investment in the Softbank Vision Fund is on the smaller side, has said that it invested because of the fund’s possibility of developing new technologies, which typically come out of startups, not companies that have been taken private through a private equity deal.
“We’ve worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple,” an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider.
It’s also possible that Apple is looking for a strong return on its investment, although whatever ends up making in 12 years, when the fund has to pay back its investors, will likely pale in comparison to the money Apple makes off of iPhone and other product sales.
The Softbank Vision Fund has a 5-year deadline to invest its $100 billion. The fund will be led by London investor Rajeev Misra, and already has a “start-up feel,” according to the Times.
The New York Times has many more details about the bankers leading the fund in its report.
Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
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