(Dec 16): Masayoshi Son’s Japanese bankers are taking a hard look at their most important client.
After the costly rescue of office-sharing startup WeWork and a series of other high-profile setbacks for Son, senior executives at two of Japan’s biggest banking groups have said privately that they’ve grown less comfortable with the eccentric billionaire’s management of SoftBank Group Corp’s US$100 billion ($135.5 billion) Vision Fund.
One executive, speaking in mid-November, said his firm wants to see a convincing turnaround plan for WeWork before lending more money to SoftBank. A rival said around the same time his bank is taking a cautious approach toward the company and has doubts about Son’s strategy of investing big sums in highly valued startups. The two lenders are among those approached by SoftBank for a roughly US$2.7 billion loan.