Business / Corporate

SoftBank to tighten governance standards for firms it invests in: report

JIJI

Following related issues at WeWork, SoftBank Group Corp. will introduce new standards to tighten corporate governance at companies in which it invests, the Financial Times reported Monday.

SoftBank is expected to outline the new standards Wednesday, the British newspaper said, citing people briefed on the plan.

The tougher governance standards will apply to future investments made by SoftBank. Meanwhile, its Saudi Arabia-backed Vision Fund is in discussions about how it can adopt some or all of these measures, according to the paper.

For private companies, SoftBank will look to have at least one board seat, require at least one independent director and prohibit directors from owning “supervoting” shares, the report said.

Concerns have been raised about corporate governance at U.S. office-sharing firm The We Co., or WeWork, backed by SoftBank. A co-founder of the American company at one point had 20 times the voting power of other shareholders.

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