Abu Dhabi investor Mubadala Development Co is in talks with SoftBank Group Corp about a potential multi-billion dollar investment in its technology fund, people familiar with the matter said.
Japan’s SoftBank, run by Masayoshi Son, is also in talks with European and North American investors, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No final agreements have been reached and talks may still falter, the people said.
The Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund is also in discussions to join the project, people familiar with the matter said last month.
“We are taking a serious look at a potential investment to the fund as we do with similar, strong investment opportunities,” Mubadala spokesman Brian Lott said by phone, declining to comment further. Matthew Nicholson, a spokesman for SoftBank, declined to comment.
SoftBank and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund announced the new venture, which will be run by SoftBank’s head of strategic finance Rajeev Misra, in October with a fundraising target of $100bn. The tech-focused vehicle, tentatively named the SoftBank Vision Fund, is appealing to Middle Eastern investors and sovereign wealth funds, which are looking for new sources of income as a plunge in oil prices puts pressure on economic growth in the region. At $100bn, the fund would be almost five-times larger than the biggest private equity fund, Blackstone Group’s Blackstone Capital Partners V, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Tokyo-based SoftBank has already agreed to invest at least $25bn and Saudi Arabia may put in as much as $45bn over the next five years, with other large investors making up the rest, the firms have said.
A visitor looks at a display screen on Softbank Group’s Pepper humanoid robot at the Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, on October 4. Abu Dhabi investor Mubadala Development Co would potentially join Saudi Arabia and Qatar in investing in SoftBank’s planned multi-billion dollar technology fund, people familiar with the matter have said.