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SoftBank Group sells $1.7bn of shares in South Korea's Coupang

Vision Fund cashes in on some of its lucrative investment in e-commerce company

Coupang has been a moneymaker for SoftBank Group's Vision Fund, but business difficulties and scandals have sent the South Korean company's share price plunging.    © Yonhap/Kyodo

TOKYO/SEOUL -- SoftBank Group's Vision Fund sold $1.7 billion in shares of South Korean e-commerce company Coupang, cashing in on one of the fund's most lucrative investments.

SVF Investments, a unit of SoftBank, said in a filing on Thursday to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had sold a total of 57 million shares in Coupang at $29.7 per share. The transaction was on Tuesday, according to the filing. But SVF still owns 568.2 million shares in Coupang after the sale.

Coupang, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, declined to comment.

The South Korean company has been one of the Vision Fund's most successful investments. The fund invested about $2.8 billion in Coupang and the stake had grown tenfold by the end of March, shortly after the company went public. The investment gain helped SoftBank report a record net profit of $47 billion for the fiscal year ended in March.

However, Coupang has since experienced difficulties including a warehouse fire at a distribution center in June and a series of scandals. As of Thursday, the company's share price was about 40% lower than when it made its market debut.

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