SoftBank to borrow $4 billion from Apollo-led group

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is seen at the company
FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is seen at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, June 30, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

By Chibuike Oguh

(Reuters) -SoftBank Group Corp is borrowing nearly $4 billion from a group led by private equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc , a source familiar with the matter said, as the conglomerate looks to increase cash on hand after its finances came under pressure.

The loan, to be secured by SoftBank's $40 billion Vision Fund 2, is expected to be funded by the end of the year, the source said.

The Japanese investment giant will pledge some of its stakes in technology companies for the loan, said the source, who requested anonymity as these discussions are confidential.

Besides Apollo, its insurance affiliate Athene Holding Ltd and other mutual funds, endowments and financial institutions will be providing the loan, the source said.

SoftBank has experienced rapidly changing fortunes over the last year, with its stock price and portfolio valuations plummeting in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the group into asset sales.

To add to the conglomerate's woes, its portfolio company Grab Holdings Ltd has seen a 44% slump in stock price since it went public earlier this month. SoftBank's deal to sell British chip technology provider Arm to Nvidia Corp has also run into regulatory roadblocks.

The company has been raising capital by trimming stakes in companies such as Uber Technologies and food delivery firm DoorDash Inc following the expiry of lock-up periods.

China's crackdown on the sprawling technology sector has also taken the shine off e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, SoftBank's most prized bet.

The borrowing plans were first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Maju Samuel)

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