SoftBank Sold $1 Billion Stake in Korea’s Coupang

Vision Fund sold 50 million Coupang shares for $20.87 each, according to a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission dated Friday, leaving it still with 461 million shares

 

SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund sold shares worth $1 billion in South Korean e-commerce firm Coupang, a filing showed, amid a slump in the value of the tech investment firm’s holdings.

Vision Fund sold 50 million Coupang shares for $20.87 each, according to a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission dated Friday, leaving the investor with 461.2 million shares remaining.

SoftBank sold Coupang shares worth $1.69 billion for $29.69 each in September. The conglomerate first invested in Coupang in 2015 before the launch of Vision Fund which holds the stake.

“They’re going to sell the winners,” said Redex Research analyst Kirk Boodry, who estimates SoftBank invested in Coupang at an average of $4.80 per share. “Selling at a loss isn’t going to be very well accepted in this market.”

The South Korean firm’s shares are trading below their listing price as investors turn sceptical on the money losing startups that litter SoftBank’s portfolio, which has also been hit by a collapse in China tech valuations.

SoftBank has been trimming stakes in listed companies as it prioritises investing through the second Vision Fund and share repurchases in a $9 billion programme. SoftBank’s shares have fallen by almost a fifth year-to-date.

 

• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.