U.S. President Signs Deal with Saudi Arabia's Sovereign Wealth Fund for $93 Billion Boosting U.S. Tech Sector
On Friday Patently Apple posted a report titled "SoftBank's Chief Masayoshi Son follows President Trump to Saudi Arabia to Officially Launch $100 Billion Fund." The trip indeed delivered what was expected. The world's largest private equity fund, backed by Japan's Softbank Group and Saudi Arabia's main sovereign wealth fund, said on Saturday it had raised over $93 billion to invest in technology sectors such as artificial intelligence and robotics. In addition to Softbank and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), the new fund's investors include Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment, which has committed $15 billion, Apple Inc, Qualcomm, Taiwan's Foxconn Technology and Japan's Sharp Corp.
Reuters reports that "The next stage of the Information Revolution is under way, and building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large-scale, long-term investment," the Softbank Vision Fund said in a statement.
Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, chairman of Softbank, a telecommunications and tech investment group, revealed plans for the fund last October and since then it has obtained commitments from some of the world's most deep-pocketed investors.
The new fund made its announcement during the visit of President Donald Trump to Riyadh and the signing of tens of billions of dollars worth of business deals between U.S. and Saudi companies. Son was also in Riyadh on Saturday.
The new fund said it would seek to buy minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, from emerging businesses to established, multi-billion-dollar firms. It expects to obtain preferred access to long-term investment opportunities worth $100 million or more."
The deal began with SoftBank's Masayoshi Son, Japan's richest man visiting then President-elect Trump in December 2016. The Softbank and Foxconn contribution to the deal would be close to $50 billion as noted in the graphic above of a presentation sheet used in Son's pitch.
Last month Patently Apple posted a reprot titled "Foxconn to make 'Capital Intensive' Investment in the U.S. that will be revealed at a Special Event this Summer." Foxconn's Chairman Terry Gou stated at the time that "We are planning a number of investments in America. This project will include both capital-intensive and skilled labor-intensive and high-tech investment." In respect to timing, Gou added that "I think we will share with you in the summer, maybe a few weeks."
The high paying jobs that the Fund will support cover various industries such as mobile computing, communications infrastructure, computational biology, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.
Bloomberg adds in their report that Masayoshi Son said in a statement today that "SoftBank has long made bold investments in transformative technologies and supported disruptive entrepreneurs. The SoftBank Vision Fund is consistent with this strategy and will help build and grow businesses creating the foundational platforms of the next stage of the Information Revolution.'
Yasir Alrumayyan, managing director of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, said the fund will help his country’s strategy of developing 'a diversified, knowledge-based economy.' Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chief executive officer of Mubadala, said the SoftBank fund 'perfectly complements' the company’s strategy to become an investor in high-growth technology companies."