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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.

26 mins ago - World

South Korean president: Trump "beat around the bush and failed" on North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaking in Seoul in March 2021. Photo: Jeon Heon-Kyun/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in criticized former President Trump's attempts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, telling the New York Times he "beat around the bush" with North Korea and "failed to pull it through."

Why it matters: Moon, now in his final year in office, called denuclearization a "matter of survival" for South Korea and urged President Biden to resume negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after a standstill of nearly two years.

40 mins ago - World

U.S.-Israel tensions build as Iran talks progress

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Eric Baradat (AFP), Gali Tibbon (AFP)/Getty Images

As nuclear talks in Vienna enter a critical stage, the gaps and suspicions over Iran between the Israeli government and the Biden administration are growing.

Why it matters: Both sides want to avoid the kind of public fight that emerged during the negotiations over the 2015 deal. But in private, there's growing frustration on both sides about the lack of trust, coordination and transparency.