Despite holding only a minor stake in ByteDance, SoftBank
has played a particularly active role in negotiations. In the US, the Japanese company brought in Walmart as the main investor in a group of bidders that also included Google parent Alphabet. But the consortium fell apart after the Trump administration insisted a US tech company lead the investments, one of the people said. Google said it was no longer interested, while Walmart joined a bid led by Microsoft. It’s unclear which group SoftBank is currently working with in the country.
Centricus Asset Management, which is also a frequent adviser to SoftBank, teamed up with Triller in a bid for TikTok’s operations in the US and several other countries for $20 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
In December, SoftBank poured $275 million into eye-care provider Lenskart, minting India’s latest unicorn. The company is also part of a solar power joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology.
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