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Report: SoftBank to write down at least US$5B

SoftBank Group Corp.'s SoftBank Vision Fund LP is planning to write down at least US$5 billion due to a drop in value of some of its investments, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 24, citing sources.

The amount has not been finalized but could go up to US$7 billion, one of the sources said.

The write-down, driven by the SoftBank Vision Fund's holdings in WeWork Cos. Inc. parent WE Co. and Uber Technologies Inc., is expected to be revealed when the Japanese company announces its second quarter earnings Nov. 6.

The company is in talks with Vision Fund investors, such as Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Mubadala Investment Co. for its Vision Fund 2, which is worth about US$108 billion.

Analysts, however, said the WeWork bailout package will make it harder for SoftBank to fulfill its US$38 billion investment commitment for Vision Fund 2. SoftBank's announced funding package in WeWork includes a tender offer of up to US$3 billion and an additional investment of US$5 billion. It also agreed to expedite an existing US$1.5 billion funding commitment to WeWork to increase liquidity.