Japan's SoftBank to invest $50 billion in US

Reuters

Posted at Dec 07 2016 07:21 AM

US President-elect Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son speak to the press after meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, US, Tuesday. Brendan McDermid, Reuters

Japanese telecoms and internet firm SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) plans to invest $50 billion in the United States in businesses and create 50,000 new jobs, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday.

The money would come from a $100 billion investment fund that SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son is setting up with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund and other potential partners, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Trump made the announcement in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan where he met with the head of SoftBank, a diverse company that holds stakes in U.S. carrier Sprint (S.N), Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA.N) and other firms.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is Masa from SoftBank of Japan, and he’s just agreed to invest $50 billion in the United States and 50,000 jobs," Trump said.

"He would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!" Trump later Tweeted.

Son, who wore a red tie and red sweater under his suit jacket, told reporters his company would create jobs by investing in start up companies in the United States.

"I just came to celebrate his new job. We were talking about it. Then I said I would like to celebrate his presidential job and commit, because he would do a lot of deregulation. I said this is great. The United States would become great again,” Son said.

"We are going to invest $50 billion into the U.S. and commit to create 50,000 new jobs," Son said.

U.S.-listed shares of SoftBank (SFTBY.PK) were trading at session highs of $31.19, up 3.7 percent.

Son had hoped to merge Sprint with T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) to take on market leaders AT&T Inc (T.N) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N). Sprint had to drop a bid for T-Mobile after U.S. regulators signaled they would reject the plan.

Shares of Sprint, 82-percent-owned by SoftBank, reached session highs, at their best level in 2-1/2 years, soon after Son's comments. They were last up 5.8 percent to $8.52 in heavy trading. Shares of T-Mobile US were up 2.8 percent at $56.58.

It was not immediately clear how much of SoftBank's investment has been disclosed before. Softbank said on Nov. 7, the day before the U.S. election, it planned to make future large-scale investments via the $100 billion tech fund, rather than on its own, to avoid growing already bloated debt.

Should the technology investment fund grow as large as $100 billion it would be one of the world's largest private equity investors and a potential kingpin in the industry.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Eric Walsh; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Nick Zieminski; Editing by Andrew Hay)