SoftBank sought a stake in Swiss Re, a reinsurance provider from Europe, but talks have been called off.
Son’s SoftBank, the telecom and tech giant has an international business with investments in Wework, Nvidia, Slack and in various other companies.
With a stake in Swiss Re, the company would have been at par with Berkshire Hathaway in many ways. The stake would have provided Son with an investment in the insurance business, which would have likened him to the Berkshire Hathaway giant.
Masayoshi Son wanted about a third of Swiss Re and power in the board. However, the European reinsurance company did not want to lose so much to the Japanese company.
Talks with Swiss Re were on for nearly four months; however, an agreement is yet to happen. The two companies had just announced that the deal was off, without a disclosure on the reason why the deal was not through.
However, the deal is not off but chances of further talks are possible, say sources.
With this stake, Son would become the Warren Buffet of Japan, a position he desires in Japan. The deal would have provided him access to a good cash flow with which more investments would be possible.
The Zurich-based company is said to be the second-largest reinsurer in the world. But with hedge funds increasing its pressure, and competition from insurance companies in countries like India and Qatar, the company was open to offering a minority stake.
Though SoftBank has said that it wanted a third of the stake, Swiss Re claims that only 10% was the stake discussed. Further reports on the discussion are not provided by both the companies.
The Japanese company, however, has lost interest in the stake and is seen in talks with a Saudi-based tech company in which SoftBank already has investments in.