On Monday, the Japanese conglomerate revealed plans to raise over half a billion dollars in New York through an initial public offering of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
The newly created firm, SVF Investment Corp., plans to list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “SVFAU.” It will initially seek to raise $525 million, but that could go up to nearly $605 million if there’s strong interest in the shares.
SVF is sponsored by a subsidiary of SoftBank Investment Advisers, which oversees the Vision Fund — SoftBank’s vehicle for many of the company’s splashy tech investments.
Back on offense
But that strategy is changing.
It noted that it would not rule out the possibility of buying a company SoftBank has already invested in, saying that it was “not prohibited” from pursuing such a deal. In that event, the firm said it would consult an independent party to ensure that that “is fair to our company from a financial point of view.”
SoftBank is the latest big name to hop on the SPAC bandwagon. So far in 2020, $75.4 billion has been raised through the IPOs of US-listed SPACs, according to data provider Refinitiv.
That’s a huge jump from 2019, when such firms only raised $13.1 billion.
SoftBank itself alluded to the momentum in its prospectus, saying it had been encouraged to join in after watching the space heat up.
“Over the last 18 months, we have seen significant growth in public market investors’ interest in top-quality companies operating in technology-enabled sectors,” the company said. “To that end, we believe launching a blank check company now gives us the opportunity to maximize value for our investors.”
— Matt Egan and Charles Riley contributed to this report.