Sunday, February 12, 2017

Expect a round of Tech Acquisitions at premium prices

This may not relate directly to Microvision, but it will have a very significant effect on the landscape of smaller tech companies. 

Things are about to get really interesting, and the things to watch more numerous.

Gulf Times

The initial investments will likely include $45bn from Saudi Arabia and $25bn from SoftBank, as well as $1bn each from Apple Inc, Qualcomm Inc and Oracle Corp, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Abu Dhabi investor Mubadala Development Co may join the first round, though it could also wait until a later time, they said. The initial round is likely to exceed $80bn and the timing of the closing may still change, said one of the people. It’s not yet clear when the remainder of the planned financing would be raised.

Son announced plans for the Vision Fund in October, vowing to become the biggest investor in the technology industry over the next decade. He has already been among the most acquisitive, buying Sprint Corp for $22bn and ARM Holdings plc for $32bn along with stakes in hundreds of startups. The new fund will give him cash to cut even larger deals as he aims to capitalise on emerging trends like artificial intelligence and the so-called Internet of Things.
“When I first founded this company, all I could think about is how to stretch the finances until the end of the month,” Son said Wednesday after his company’s earnings announcement. “Recently, the span shifted to 10 and 30 years ahead. I’m now seriously thinking about how to make sure that SoftBank group can grow for the next 300 years.”


SoftBank may announce deals within days of the fund’s first closing, one of the people said. The company has had preliminary discussions to make an investment in WeWork Cos., a New York-based startup for sharing office space, said the people, cautioning a deal may not be finalised. WeWork, with more than 140 locations around the world, was most recently valued at $16bn.
SoftBank has also agreed to invest $1bn into OneWeb Ltd, a startup based in Exploration Park, Florida that aims to provide Internet connectivity from satellites. Son said Wednesday that the deal would go into the new fund.

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