Japan’s Softbank is the largest owner of listed Norwegian technology companies Autostore and Kahoot, with about 38 and 17 percent of the shares.
On Monday, shares fell 6.1 and 4.3 percent, respectively, in line with the growing uncertainty surrounding Softbank’s long-term outlook.
In recent years, the Japanese conglomerate has invested huge sums in partly risky growth and technology stocks. In the period following the outbreak of the epidemic, these flames rose, but the joy was short-lived.
The international shift away from Softbank’s preferred growth stocks has led to heavy losses for the company and has slashed the share price by 45 percent since its peak level in March of last year.
Much of the loss is due to the internal fund Northstar, with a third of the capital representing Masayoshi Son’s private Softbank. This fund is said to have lost up to NOK 60 billion in conventional stock speculation, and is now practically liquidated, he writes financial times.
Recently, the same newspaper wrote that Softbank Shake the slots and slow down the pace of investment due to losses.
The CEO is on his way out
Among Northstar’s few assets that have not been sold is Norwegian technology and e-learning company Kahoot. Those items are said to have been transferred to the Softbank Group, according to FT.
– I don’t think there is any reason for them to give up anything else in the short term, because there are other things they can sell that are more liquid, says an anonymous source familiar with the positions of the internal fund of the British newspaper.
Softbank has invested about NOK 5 billion in Kahoot, but has seen More than half of the paper values have been shaved in line with the price drop over the past year. Today, the item is worth just over two billion kroner.
The investment in Autostore, as well as the unlisted companies Oda and Gelato, were made through the so-called Vision funds.
Softbank serves as Chairman of the Board at Kahoot, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Autostore. Both are held by Swede Andreas Hansson. According to Financial Times sources, Hansson will be on track to exit Softbank during the month of April.
Hanson did not respond to DN inquiries about the case.
Covers chief analyst Frank Maaø at DNB Markets Kahoot. He commented on this weekend’s article in a quick update for brokerage clients.
“Our assessment is: While the information is not entirely new, the article increases the uncertainty surrounding the long-term nature of Softbank’s 17 percent ownership in Kahoot, and is clearly negative relative to the stock price as we see it,” Maaø wrote.
Kahut has no comment on this issue. Autostore has not yet responded to DN inquiries.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link that leads directly to our pages. All or part of the Content may not be copied or otherwise used with written permission or as permitted by law. For additional terms look here.
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