SoftBank mulls bringing 40 companies to Brazil

By Aluisio Alves

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Japan's SoftBank Group Corp is considering bringing around 40 companies with high growth potential to Brazil and expects to announce a large investment in the country in around two weeks' time, the group's head in Brazil, André Maciel, said on Friday.

"We have around 40 companies that fit in Brazil," he said during an event at Cubo, a technological hub funded by Itaú Unibanco, the largest private bank in Latin America.

SoftBank has been investing in many companies around the world, including some that are already operating in Brazil such as U.S. office-sharing startup WeWork.

Maciel, a former director at JPMorgan in Brazil, added Softbank plans to disclose a large investment in the country in the next two weeks. He did not elaborate.

The Japanese group has been leading multimillion-dollar investments in Latin America since March, when it announced the creation of a $5 billion fund targeting technological projects in the region.

SoftBank has invested $1 billion in Colombian delivery startup Rappi, $150 million in the app-based startup Loggi and $250 million in the rental platform Quinto Andar. It has also acquired a 15% stake in Banco Inter.

"Brazil still has room to create more unicorns", said Maciel, referring to startups worth more than $1 billion. He added SoftBank sees opportunities in Brazil in health, logistics, transportation and agribusiness, among other areas.

(Reporting by Aluisio Alves in Sao Paulo; Writing by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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