The SoftBank Group Corp. logo is displayed inside the lobby of a building which houses the company’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg )

SoftBank Mulls IPO for $100 Billion Vision Fund, WSJ Says

(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. is considering an initial public offering of its $100 billion Vision Fund, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Japanese conglomerate is also negotiating with the sultanate of Oman for an investment of several billion dollars in the existing Vision Fund, the Journal reported Friday, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The bulk of the fund was initially backed primarily from the Saudi Arabian government as well as capital from Apple Inc. and the government of Abu Dhabi.

Hiroe Kotera, a spokeswoman for SoftBank, declined to comment on the rerport.

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder and chief executive officer, has been deal making at a fast pace, and has invested nearly all of the money that the Vision Fund took in two years ago, while the initial plan was to spread it out over four years, according to the Journal.

Several of the investments the Vision Fund has made are set to become public companies soon, including Uber Technologies Inc., in which SoftBank owns a 15 percent stake, and WeWork Cos. Still, those won’t free up enough money for all of the investments Son wants to yet make, according to the Journal. The fund plans to double its staff to 800 people over the next 18 months, the Journal said.

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek last year, Son said he plans to raise a new $100 billion fund every two or three years. He has held discussions with investors about committing to a second fund as early as 2019, Bloomberg reported last year.

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