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Masayoshi Son Now Owes Softbank $5.2 Billion in Side Deals

Softbank CEO Yoda Fund, who said he was like Jesus, lost $32 billion.

Masayoshi Son is now personally being held accountable for a side deal he set up at SoftBank Group Corp about $5.2 billion to boost his pay after the Vision Fund’s venture arm ended a record year of losses.

The Vision Fund unit posted a loss of 297.5 billion yen ($2 billion) in the three months to March, ending the fiscal year with a total loss of 4.3 trillion yen since Masayoshi Son proudly founded the business in 2017. The world’s largest tech investor reported dismal earnings despite a rebound in global stock markets as unlisted startups in its portfolio suffered losses.

His unrealised losses widened by about $130 million from three months ago, with most of the deficit tied to Latin America funds. The SoftBank founder and CEO lost $5.1 billion on the Tongfang deal in the December quarter.

Masayoshi Son recently increased his stake in SoftBank and owned some of the company’s main investment vehicles. While the holdings have sparked controversy over corporate governance issues, the Japanese billionaire has denied any conflicts of interest.

The portfolio losses boosted Son’s Vision Fund 2 equity deficit to about $2.9 billion and the Latin America fund’s deficit to $463 million, according to disclosures in the March quarter. His remaining deficit at SB Northstar was 246.9 billion yen ($1.8 billion). Total debt is $5.2 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations based on company disclosures.

The 65-year-old billionaire holds a 17.25% stake in a vehicle set up by unlisted assets under SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and a 17.25% stake in a unit in the firm’s Latin America fund, which also invests in startups. He owns 33% of SB Northstar, a vehicle the company set up to trade stocks and derivatives.

With no immediate repayment deadline, the value of Masayoshi Son’s position may increase. For SB Northstar, Masayoshi Son has deposited some cash and other assets. The founder will pay his share of any “no-fund repayment obligations” at the end of the fund’s life, which is 12 years, with a two-year extension.

After adjusting for his interests in SB Northstar, Vision Fund 2 and Latin America funds, Son was worth $8.9 billion as of Thursday’s close, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index calculations.

SoftBank shares fell in early Tokyo trade after the financial results were released. The stock fell as much as CK%, its biggest drop in about two months. In addition to losses, investors sought buybacks, which didn’t materialise.

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