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Softbank In Talks To Sell Stake In Indian Renewable Energy Venture: Report

SoftBank is facing renewed investor scrutiny after it was forced to bail out one of its best known portfolio companies.

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SoftBank Group Corp is in talks to sell a majority stake in its renewable energy joint venture in India as it looks to raise cash after facing setbacks to its global investments, India’s Economic Times daily reported on Thursday.

As part of the move, the Japanese technology and investment giant has been in talks with sovereign wealth and pension funds from the Far East and Gulf regions, as well as some Silicon Valley technology giants, the report said, citing people in the know of the matter.

A SoftBank representative in India did not immediately respond to an email request from Reuters for comment.

The group is looking at a partner that can provide equity commitments of USD 1.5 billion to USD 2 billion to execute and complete a pipeline of 7 gigawatts of renewable projects around the world, the report said.

SoftBank is facing renewed investor scrutiny after it was forced to bail out one of its best known portfolio companies, the cash-burning, office-sharing firm WeWork, for about USD 10 billion last year.

This has put a spotlight on founder Masayoshi Son’s strategy of pouring billions of dollars into unproven, money-losing startups at a time when it is getting squeezed by a sell-off in many of its listed bets.

Its bailout effort for WeWork appeared to have complicated after talks to secure USD 3 billion from Japan’s three biggest banks stalled, Reuters reported last month.

For its India renewable energy venture, SoftBank is considering options including a sale of its entire 70 per cent stake or a majority stake, the ET reported. The unit is a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technology Group, and it won its first solar plant order in India in 2015.

That year, India, the world’s third-largest carbon emitter, had set an ambitious target to ramp up its solar power capacity by five times to 100,000 megawatts by 2022.

(Reuters)


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