Elliott Management has built a $2.5 billion stake in SoftBank Group and wants the company to make changes to increase shareholder value, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
“Elliott has engaged privately with SoftBank’s leadership and is working constructively on solutions to help SoftBank materially and sustainably reduce its discount to intrinsic value,” an Elliott spokesperson was quoted as saying.
The stake is thought to be equivalent to around 3% of Masayoshi Son’s technology giant and has already involved collaborative talks between the two parties, the Journal reported.
According to the newspaper, Elliott’s thesis is centered on more transparency and better management of investment decisions at the $100 billion Vision Fund, which recently had its reputation dented by having to bail out WeWork after a failed initial public offering due to governance concerns. Elliott is also thought to want substantial buybacks to close SoftBank’s discount to net asset value.
“We are in complete agreement that our shares are deeply undervalued by public investors,” a SoftBank spokesperson told the newspaper. “SoftBank welcomes feedback from fellow shareholders.”
Ken Miyauchi, CEO of SoftBank subsidiary SoftBank Corp reiterated that view, stating that Elliott “thinks the company valuation is too low so in that sense it is currently a positive for SoftBank Group,” according to Reuters.
SoftBank shares were up 3% to 4,727 yen in Tokyo on Thursday, having risen about 18% from lows in late October.