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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank is planning to launch a blank check acquisition company in the upcoming weeks, according to comments made today at the Milken Virtual Conference by senior SoftBank executive Rajeev Misra.

Details: Axios has learned that Goldman Sachs and Citigroup would manage the IPO process, and that the intention is not to acquire an existing SoftBank portfolio company and bring it public.

The formal sponsor is expected to be SoftBank Investment Advisors, which manages the $100 billion Vision Fund and Vision Fund 2 (unknown size, funded entirely from SoftBank's balance sheet).

  • SoftBank Vision Fund invested in such companies as Uber, DoorDash, Slack, WeWork, and TikTok owner ByteDance. It also backed Opendoor, which recently agreed to be acquired by a SPAC.

Go deeper: SPACs have become bizarro private equity

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Jan 14, 2021 - Economy & Business

The complex new landscape of going public

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The question is no longer whether a company should go public; it's how.

Why it matters: The much-resented traditional IPO, run by Wall Street and largely for Wall Street, now has competition. A lot of it.

Journalism's two Americas

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

There's a sharp divide in American journalism between haves and have-nots. While national journalists covering tech and politics on the coasts reap the benefits of booming businesses and book deals, local media organizations, primarily newspapers, continue to shrink.

Why it matters: The disparate fortunes skew what gets covered, elevating big national political stories at the expense of local, community-focused news.

Updated 9 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

🚨: Japan's Naomi Osaka lights Olympic cauldron; Photos

👻: How the no-spectator Olympics could affect the athletes

🇺🇸: "What an honor it is to watch you soar," first lady tells U.S. Olympians

🌏: Meet the underdogs from Latin America

🥇: The six new sports at Tokyo 2020

💉 About 100 U.S. Olympic athletes are unvaccinated

✍️ Axios at the Olympics: What it's like inside the opening ceremony

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage