By Levi Sumagaysay
SoftBank Group Corp.’s investment arm on Monday filed to raise more than $500 million for a blank-check company as it looks to take advantage of investor appetite for growth stocks.
Softbank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -5.19% , which has invested heavily in private technology companies in recent years through its “vision funds,” intends to purchase 8.3 million warrants in the special-purpose acquisition company, known as SVF Investment Corp. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SVF Investment stated that it has seen “significant growth in public market investors’ interest in top-quality companies operating in technology-enabled sectors” in the past 18 months.
“Our SPAC will bridge SoftBank’s private and public investing strategies by enabling us to partner with a fast-growing, IPO-ready technology company,” the filing states. “We believe that we have access to a wide range of compelling investment opportunities through our broad international presence and deep local networks.”
SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, raise money in an initial public offering, then look for a company to take over within a couple of years. They merge with the companies they buy, then take those companies public. SPACs have been around for a while but have risen in popularity this year as the coronavirus pandemic brought stock market volatility and interest rates remained low.
SVF Investment said in the filing it is interested in just about every aspect of the tech sector, including mobile communications, artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud, software, computational biology, data, hardware, transportation, consumer internet and fintech. But it also said it could buy a company that’s unrelated to tech. It stressed that it is looking for a growth business.
The offering will consist of 52.5 million shares at $10 each, and possibly up to 60.375 million shares, on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Softbank, through a subsidiary, committed to a concurrent private placement of at least 8.3 million shares.
Companies that have gone public via the SPAC route this year include sports-betting company DraftKings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/213120645/composite DKNG -4.13% and electric-vehicle maker Nikola Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208704275/composite NKLA -7.55% .