(Reuters) – Cruise, a self-driving vehicle company mainly owned by General Motors Co., told Reuters Friday that a US security panel approved a € 2.25 billion investment in the firm at Japan's SoftBank Corp.
PHONE FILE: People walking near the SoftBank logo Corp. in Tokyo, December 18, 2014. REUTERS / Toru Hanai / Photo File
SoftBank has increased US scrutiny over its links with Chinese firms against a growing trade and technology war between Washington and Beijing. He is in the process of raising a second $ 100 billion investment vehicle, called a Video Card, after using the first of the same size.
The US Committee on Foreign Investment (WDCUS), which reviews national security concerns, approved the investment based on new convictions that Cruise technology would be completely out of line with SoftBank, a source familiar with question.
SoftBank spokesman refused to comment. The Treasury Department, which is the result of CFIUS, did not respond immediately to a request for comments.
The SoftBank board seat approval on a Cruise reveals its formal supervision, and consolidates Cruise's core funding, which raised $ 7.25 billion in last year's capital, the company said.
Today's news is another important step towards achieving our goal of developing and deploying self-driving vehicles on a huge scale, ”said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann in a statement to Reuters.
However, it did not always appear that the agreement was approved as it was closely examined by WUSUS, according to two persons close to the market.
SoftBank unveiled the $ 2.25 billion investment in May 2018 among a wave of investments by the Japanese conglomerate and telecommunications technology in artificial intelligence, data analytics, financial services and self-driving cars.
The red flag investment rose with CFIUS because SoftBank invests in many mobility units, some of which are located in China, and that it encourages companies that invest in them to share information.
CFIUS was particularly concerned about SoftBank's joint investments with Tencent Holdings Ltd, a Chinese giant and Chinese craft gaming, and its investment in Didi's enthusiasm in China.
The committee, which has the law of last year aimed at strengthening the interagency panel, has further mastered its muscles against Chinese companies as Beijing and Washington are locked in a series of trade and technology. heated.
Reuters reported that Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd Chinese gaming company is looking to sell Grindr LLC, the popular gay dating application, after WUSUS has taken its national ownership risk. Last year, SDFI stopped a plan by Ant Financial, owned by Chinese Alibaba internet conglomerate, to MoneyGram International Inc.. to get.
The cruise deal was structured to allow $ 900 million of the investment to be paid off initially, while the rest was provided when Cruise AVs are ready for commercial deployment and rely on regulatory approval. Both tracks would combine to bring nearly 20 percent share to SoftBank in a cruise.
The Japanese company, separately, announced a joint investment with GM, T. Rowe Price, and Honda of $ 1.15 billion earlier this year, which contributed significantly to its share.
Softbank's investment, and subsequent Honda announcement in October, is that it sells $ 2.75 billion in cruise, and remains one of the largest and most profiled investments in self-driving technology to date.
His Vision Fund, the world's largest technology fund, unveiled a $ 1.5 billion investment in China's best automobile car, Chehauduo Group, in February. Reuters reported in December that China's investment team was at the same fund to boost its presence in one of the most vibrant markets in the world.
This is not the first time that SoftBank has done a long-term CFIUS review. She had to accept U.S restrictions. on how it runs some of its companies, including wireless carrier Sprint Corp and Fortress Investment Group investment firm.
SoftBank lost its claim to two seats on Uber Inc. board when the giant who was riding was floated in the stock market in May. SoftBank did not get permission for the board seats from CFIUS after agreement in 2017 to invest $ 9 billion in Uber.
The autonomous vehicle industry could transform transport but faces engineering, safety and regulatory challenges, as well as suspicions among potential users.
Waymo GM Cruise and Alphabet Inc. are often described as a pioneer in the package of technology and automated companies competing to create self-propelled cars and integrate them with travel services fleets.
Additional Reporting to David Shepardson; Edited by Cynthia Osterman, Paul Tait & Shri Navaratnam
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