TOKYO: SoftBank Group Corp is sounding out Japan’s top three banks to borrow around 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) to help fund its support of US startup WeWork, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
While official talks haven’t started yet, SoftBank has approached its main bank Mizuho Financial Group Inc, as well as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc, the sources said.
All three sources declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak on the record.
A SoftBank spokeswoman said that a loan was one of its options but nothing had been decided yet. All three banks declined to comment.
SoftBank agreed in October to offer a $9.5 billion lifeline to take control of WeWork.
SoftBank has provided Japanese banks with a rare profit opportunity at home, where they are largely hamstrung by ultra-low interest rates. But Japan’s top three lenders have also become more cautious about financing the conglomerate, bankers say, given the turmoil over WeWork. —Reuters