SoftBank CEO, planning new tech fund, to attend Saudi forum: sources

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan's SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son attends a news conference in Tokyo© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son attends a news conference in Tokyo

By Saeed Azhar, Stanley Carvalho and Stephen Kalin

DUBAI/ABU DHABI/RIYADH (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp (T:) founder and CEO Masayoshi Son will attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week, two people familiar with the matter said, as the Japanese company seeks to raise funds for a second technology fund.

Attending the Saudi Future Investment Initiative (FII) on Oct. 29-31 could offer Son a chance meet delegates from the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, major investors in Softbank’s first $100 billion technology fund.

Riyadh’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) contributed $40 billion to the Softbank Vision fund and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala committed $15 billion.

Mubadala has said it was considering investing in Softbank Vision 2 and sources have said PIF held talks on the issue, but neither have announced any decision.

SoftBank was not immediately available to comment on the visit by Son, who also travelled to the kingdom last year.

SoftBank Group agreed on Tuesday to spend more than $10 billion to take over WeWork, doubling down on an ill-fated investment in the office-space sharing startup that has racked up losses.

PIF and Mubadala have not commented on Softbank’s bailout of WeWork. Sources close to the two funds said they were not too concerned about the WeWork investment, saying the two funds were focused on all 80 or so firms the Softbank vehicle invests in.

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