Linklaters and SoftBank break new ground in largest ever technology fund

Linklaters has acted as fund counsel to SoftBank Group Corp. ("SoftBank") on the launch of the SoftBank Vision Fund, leading the establishment of the world’s largest technology investment fund targeting $100bn and the largest ever private fundraise.

As fund counsel, Linklaters advised Japan’s SoftBank, one of the world’s leading technology companies, on fund structuring, terms and regulation and the establishment from scratch of a global regulated alternative investment business and its relationship with SoftBank and its own investment activities. Linklaters’ mandate included establishment of the fund structure, drafting funds documents as well as a wide range of ancillary documentation and negotiating the terms of investment with investors.

Jonathan de Lance-Holmes, partner, Linklaters Investment Management Group, said: “This transaction meant establishing a global technology investment manager from scratch and raising the world’s largest private fund in a fast-moving sector for one of the world’s leading technology firms."

The work we have undertaken with SoftBank not only showcases Linklaters’ extensive knowledge and experience of dealing with high profile and complex fund structures, but also demonstrates our multidisciplinary and cross border strengths. Together with our tax, regulatory, employment, derivatives and structured products expertise, the Investment Management Group has been able to work through the challenges posed by raising a fund of this size, taking into account the relationship with SoftBank Group Corp, the fund strategy and the needs of major investors.

The SoftBank Vision Fund focuses on companies that will enable the next age of innovation including artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile applications and computing, communications infrastructure, cloud technologies and software, consumer internet businesses and financial technology. It will seek to acquire minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, from emerging technology businesses to established, multi-billion dollar companies requiring substantial growth funding.

The Linklaters team is being led by Investment Management partners Jonathan de Lance-Holmes (London), Eriko Sakata (Tokyo) and Justin Storms (New York) and managing associate Amanda Sanchez-Barry (London).