Son, speaking at the Milken Institute conference in Tokyo, said he was close to striking a deal to acquire 30 per cent of the US e-commerce pioneer with Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos in its early years. Son offered $100 million, but Bezos insisted on $130 million. It’s not that Son thought the stock wasn’t worth it; he just didn’t have the money.
“We were laughing about it when I met him again recently,” Son said. “It’s a big mistake that I didn’t make that investment. I just didn’t have enough cash. But my image, my vision was right.”
Amazon’s market value is now more than $860 billion, meaning that stake would be worth about $260 billion. SoftBank’s stake in China’s Alibaba Group Holding is now worth 14.5 trillion yen ($132 billion).