Softbank has warned about deeper losses for the year due to a whopping $6.6 billion write-down on its WeWork investment.
The Japanese conglomerate, which made the disclosure in a note to investors on Thursday, was a major backer of the workspace-sharing company before it dramatically imploded last year, leading to the cancellation of its highly touted IPO.
For the fiscal year that ended in March, Softbank said it expects a loss of around 700 billion yen ($6.6 billion) on the portion of its WeWork investment held outside the Vision Fund, which is its $100 billion tech venture fund. SoftBank said it now expects a record annual net loss of 900 billion yen, compared to its previous guidance of a 750 billion yen net loss.
Softbank has invested an estimated $13.5 billion in WeWork. The New York start-up was once widely regarded as a hot item on Wall Street. But questionable behavior by its CEO Adam Neumann, who stepped down in September following reports of alleged drug abuse, made analysts and potential investors nervous.
SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son reportedly led the effort to oust Neumann. WeWork’s highly anticipated IPO was called off shortly thereafter, following a drop in the company’s valuation.
The Japanese company has acted as a financial lifeline to WeWork, pouring in billions of dollars as the start-up sought to quickly expands. But following Neumann’s ouster, Masayoshi Son reportedly took control of the troubled company and began cleaning house.
Softbank said Thursday in its note to investors that it expects annual operating losses for the fiscal year to exceed 1 trillion yen, which is nearly $9.4 billion.