Activist investor Elliott sells down remaining SoftBank stake -FT

(Reuters) -Activist investor Elliott Management has sold almost all its remaining shares in SoftBank Group Corp after previously investing as much as $2.5 billion, the Financial Times said on Tuesday, citing unidentified sources.

Elliott had already cut back its stake as the Japanese conglomerate’s shares appreciated, supported by a record buyback programme. SoftBank’s portfolio has subsequently been hit by a collapse in tech valuations as investors turn sceptical on the high-growth stocks it favours.

SoftBank’s shares exceeded dot-com bubble highs in March 2021 but have lost almost half their value as its portfolio slid. The group this month reported a loss of $50 billion at its Vision Fund investment arm in the six months to June-end.

The exact size and timing of the recent sell-down was unknown but it took place earlier this year as SoftBank was affected by the tech downturn, the paper said, citing one of the sources.

Elliott had built its stake into one of its largest-ever positions in a company, calling for SoftBank to buy back stock and increase the independence of its board.

SoftBank declined to comment, while Elliott did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shares of SoftBank fell about 2.5% versus a flat broader market.

($1 = 133.4400 yen)

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru and Sam Nussey and Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Christopher Cushing and Uttaresh.V)