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SoFi held sale talks, but bidders balked at $8 billion price - newspaper

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SoFi held sale talks, but bidders balked at $8 billion price - newspaper

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By Alwyn Scott NEW YORK (Reuters) – Social Finance Inc discussed a potential sale earlier this year, including with financial services company Charles Schwab Corp <SCHW.N>, but the talks fell apart over the $8 billion (6.06 billion pounds) price the online lender sought, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. The San Francisco-based company known as SoFi began sales talks after a foreign bank made a $6 billion “indicative offer,” the newspaper said, citing two sources. The offer came shortly after a $500 million funding round in February led by investment firm Silver Lake, the newspaper said. The round valued SoFi at about $4.3 billion, ranking it among the most valuable private tech startups in the United States. SoFi then held talks with other potential buyers, seeking a price between $8 billion and $10 billion, but the bidders were not willing to meet that price, the newspaper said. SoFi declined to comment. Schwab did not immediately respond to a request for comment. SoFi Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Mike Cagney resigned last month after the company began investigating allegations that employees were sexually harassed at work. A series of top-level executives have left SoFi this year, including Chief Financial Officer Nino Fanlo, Chief Revenue Officer Michael Tannenbaum and Chief Technology Officer June Ou. Earlier this month SoFi said it would withdraw its application for a bank license following the senior leaders’ departures. The license had been part of the company’s efforts to expand beyond its core business of student loans and unsecured personal loans.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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