Mubadala plans to in­vest US$15b in Vi­sion Fund

New Straits Times - - Business -

ABU DHABI: Mubadala In­vest­ment Co plans to in­vest as much as US$15 bil­lion (RM65 bil­lion) in SoftBank Group Corp’s Vi­sion Fund and start two new ven­ture cap­i­tal funds to build its tech­nol­ogy hold­ings.

The SoftBank fund will be “wrapped up” in two to three weeks with about US$95 bil­lion of com­mit­ments, ac­cord­ing to Ibrahim Ajami, head of ven­ture cap­i­tal at Mubadala Cap­i­tal, the sov­er­eign wealth fund’s in­vest­ment arm. Mubadala plans to make its in­vest­ment over the next five years, he said.

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity for good fi­nan­cial re­turns,” Ajami said in an in­ter­view in Abu Dhabi yes­ter­day. “Our pri­or­ity is fi­nan­cial re­turn, if you look at his track record over the past 30 years, what he’s been able to achieve in tech­nol­ogy, no other in­vestor has,” Ajami said, re­fer­ring to SoftBank chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Masayoshi Son.

Sov­er­eign wealth funds in Gulf Arab states are look­ing at op­por­tu­ni­ties in new ar­eas, such as tech­nol­ogy, to lessen their reliance on volatile oil mar­kets. Saudi Ara­bia’s Pub­lic In­vest­ment Fund is said to be com­mit­ting as much as US$45 bil­lion to part­ner with SoftBank to set up its fund after fun­nel­ing about US$50 bil­lion of the king­dom’s re­serves into in­vest­ments abroad — al­most all in tech­nol­ogy— over the past year.

“Tech­nol­ogy im­pacts ev­ery­thing, it has be­come foun­da­tional to ev­ery sec­tor around the world,” Ajami said. “The amount of change that’s hap­pen­ing re­ally pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to gen­er­ate some good re­turn — with the right in­vest­ment, the right ap­proach and the right the­sis.”

Mubadala al­ready fully owns Glob­alfoundries Inc, the California-based maker of semi­con­duc­tors and holds a stake in Ad­vanced Mi­cro De­vices Inc In the United Arab Emi­rates, it has a hold­ing in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices provider Emi­rates In­te­grated Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Co, known as du, and owns satel­lite op­er­a­tor Al Yah Satel­lite Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Co.

Mubadala plans to start two tech­nol­ogy ven­ture cap­i­tal funds next month to in­vest in com­pa­nies with an an­nual rev­enue of be­tween US$1 mil­lion and US$10 mil­lion, Ajami said. Mubadala will man­age one of the funds it­self, while the other will be man­aged ex­ter­nally. Bloomberg

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