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Japanese giant SoftBank dumps its entire stake in Uber as losses mount at its investment unit

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SoftBank on Monday disclosed that it sold its remaining stake in U.S. ride-hailing giant Uber as the Japanese conglomerate looks to raise cash amid mounting losses at its investment unit.

The move comes after SoftBank’s Vision Fund, its technology investment vehicle, reported a 2.93 trillion Japanese yen ($21.68 billion) loss for the June quarter, one of its highest on record.

SoftBank said that it sold its Uber holdings at some point between April and July at an average price of $41.47 per share. SoftBank said the average cost per share was $34.50, so the company sold the Uber stake at a profit.

The Japanese giant did not say how much the sale of Uber brought in for the company nor the size of the stake it offloaded.

SoftBank invested in Uber in 2018 and again in 2019 to become its biggest shareholder at one point. Last year, SoftBank sold about a third of its stake in Uber, CNBC reported. It has now offloaded whatever shares it still held.

Uber shares were more than 1% higher in pre-market trade.

In total, between April and July, SoftBank said it had a realized gain of $5.6 billion on the total stakes in companies it sold which includes Uber, online real estate firm Opendoor, health care company Guardant and Chinese real estate and brokerage giant Beike.

SoftBank invested in Uber in 2018 and was once its biggest shareholder. But the Japanese giant has been facing mounting losses at its Vision Fund investment unit and has been selling stakes in companies to raise cash.
Rafael Henrique | Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

SoftBank’s Vision Fund investment business has been bleeding money in the first half of the year as technology stocks have fallen sharply because rampant inflation has led central banks globally to raise interest rates. Some of its holdings, such as South Korean e-commerce company Coupang and U.S. food delivery firm DoorDash, are down sharply this year.

Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, pledged earlier this year for the company to go into “defense” mode after it posted a record loss at the Vision Fund. Part of that strategy involves selling down some of its holdings to bolster its cash position.

In the June quarter, SoftBank sold Alibaba shares via a derivative called a forward contract, raising $10.49 billion for the company.

Son made his fortune with an early investment in Alibaba more than two decades ago. The Chinese e-commerce giant rose to become one of the world’s most valuable companies before months of regulatory tightening by Beijing wiped billions off the stock.

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