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Rakuten books $240m write-down as Mikitani exits Lyft's board

Japanese group weakens its involvement in US ride-hailing app

Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, one of Japan's most prominent tech investors, speaks at a past Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese e-commerce group Rakuten announced Monday a 25 billion yen ($237 million) write-down on its investment in Lyft, with CEO Hiroshi Mikitani resigning from the board of the U.S. ride-hailing company.

Mikitani decided to step down as a Lyft director "in order to devote his time to the management of [Rakuten] under the uncertain environment of COVID-19," the Japanese company said in a statement. The billionaire Rakuten founder had sat on Lyft's board since 2015.

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