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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.

Updated 37 mins ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.