SoftBank launches blank-check company to join SPAC craze

Key Points
  • SoftBank filed for an initial public offering for its special purpose acquisition company on Monday.
  • The firm plans to raise $525 million to invest in a technology company.
SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son is pictured here in 2019 during an earnings presentation.
Tomohiro Ohsumi | Getty Images

SoftBank Group filed to launch a special purpose acquisition company on Monday, saying it planned to raise $525 million for an investment in a technology company.

The Japanese investment giant is the latest big name to jump on the wave of so-called blank-check companies, which involve an investment vehicle entering the public markets and then using the money raised to merge with a private company.

Softbank submits SPAC filing which will be listed on the Nasdaq
Softbank submits SPAC filing which will be listed on the Nasdaq

"Our SPAC will bridge SoftBank's private and public investing strategies by enabling us to partner with a fast-growing, IPO-ready technology company. We believe that we have access to a wide range of compelling investment opportunities through our broad international presence and deep local networks," the company said in a securities filing.

SPACs have seen a surge of interest in 2020 and involvement from high-profile investors, including hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. The deals have raised more than $60 billion this year, according to Renaissance Capital.

Softbank has been one of the biggest investors in private technology and tech-adjacent companies, with mixed success. The company's prior investments include Uber, ByteDance and WeWork.

The company has also been a controversial player in the public markets this year, with reports that SoftBank was the "Nasdaq whale" buying large amounts of options on tech stocks.

What is a SPAC?
What is a SPAC?