The world’s largest technology fund could pump hundreds of millions of dollars into British unicorn Oaknorth.
The deal would make Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund an indirect shareholder in the digital bank.
Softbank’s Vision Fund, in which the Saudis are the largest investor, has held discussions to acquire a major stake in Oaknorth since the summer, Sky News reported.
Oaknorth, which lends money to small businesses, this week appointed a former Bank of England director to its advisory board.
If the deal goes through Oaknorth would likely become the first UK company sold to a Saudi-backed investor since the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Earlier today international trade secretary Liam Fox withdrew from an investor conference in Riyadh, joining dozens of other politicians and business leaders protesting Khashoggi’s disappearance.