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SoftBank's Saudi-backed fund offers break from leveraged growth

SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son

TOKYO -- The new technology investment vehicle being set up jointly by SoftBank Group and a Saudi sovereign wealth fund will let the Japanese telecom giant aggressively pursue megadeals while reducing its debt exposure, the group's chief said.

"We will make priority investments through this fund in amounts at or above a certain level," SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son told The Nikkei in a recent interview. He intends for the vehicle to be worth around $100 billion. SoftBank will contribute at least $25 billion over five years while the Saudi Public Investment Fund will pitch in $45 billion. The rest will come from other investment funds.

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