SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son says he was 'foolish' to invest $18.5 billion in WeWork

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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son says he was 'foolish' to invest $18.5 billion in WeWork
Kurita Kaku/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
  • SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son feels "foolish" for investing in WeWork, he said during an earnings call Monday.
  • Under Son's leadership, the Japanese conglomerate reportedly poured $18.5 billion into WeWork, which has seen its valuation plummet following its failed IPO in September.
  • SoftBank gave WeWork a valuation of $2.9 billion as of March, down from $7.3 billion in December.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son derided his previous decision to invest in WeWork as "foolish" during an earnings call Monday.

"It was foolish of me to invest in WeWork. I was wrong," Son said.

The remarks came as Son announced that SoftBank gave WeWork a $2.9 billion valuation as of March 31, down from $7.3 billion in December. The Tokyo-based conglomerate has reportedly invested at least $18.5 billion in WeWork, which has plummeted in value following its failed IPO attempt in September.

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Now, the COVID-19 pandemic could continue to devastate SoftBank's biggest bets. SoftBank-backed companies including Oyo, Uber, Zume, and WeWork have laid off more than 8,000 people since January in total.

SoftBank reported an $8.9 billion net loss for the fiscal year ending in March, attributing much of the losses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Son laid out a grim path forward for the Tokyo-based conglomerate during Monday's earnings call, repeating his prediction that 15 of SoftBank's 88 companies could go bankrupt.

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"Going forward, no one knows what will happen," Son said. "We cannot promise that there will not be additional valuation loss."

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