Japanese fashion tycoon Maezawa shows off $900 million SoftBank payday


TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Yusaku Maezawa on Friday posted footage of a $900 million payday for the fashion magnate following his sale of a stake in Zozo Inc, the online fashion retailer he founded, to SoftBank Group Corp.

In a video posted to YouTube, Maezawa visited a Tokyo bank to update his bank book, which showed a new balance of around 100 billion yen ($900 million).

“It’s nerve-wracking!” Maezawa said as he entered the branch.

The windfall follows a tender offer by Z Holdings, which is controlled by SoftBank’s domestic wireless unit, for half of Zozo’s shares this month.

The deal saw Maezawa reduce his stake in the fashion company to 18%.

Maezawa made 150 billion yen in the deal but a third has already been used to pay down debt, he said in the Youtube video from the seat of his chauffeur-driven car.

The former punk band drummer is well-known for his love of high-end art and sports cars.

Maezawa, who has a close relationship with SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and is planning a trip around the moon in a rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, stepped down as Zozo CEO following a series of botched initiatives.

His stake sale is the latest pay-out by SoftBank to a wealthy company founder.

In September the investment conglomerate bailed out office-sharing startup WeWork in a deal that saw co-founder Adam Neumann exit with a $1.7 billion package.

($1 = 108.6400 yen)

Reporting by Sam Nussey; editing by Jason Neely

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