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

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  • 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.
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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.Advertisement

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.

"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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