SoftBank: Uber investment under consideration but no final agreement reached yet

Nov 15, 2017, 00:53
SoftBank: Uber investment under consideration but no final agreement reached yet

Essentially, this means that although Uber has agreed to move forward with SoftBank's proposal, the tender offer price is still under negotiation. "We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber's long-term potential". "Upon closing, it will help fuel our investments in technology and our continued expansion at home and overseas, while strengthening our corporate governance".

With so many scandals, issues and controversies, Uber need this investment.

Taxi-hailing company Uber has said it's struck a deal that may eventually lead to a massive investment in the company by a consortium led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and Dragoneer of San Francisco. The terms were signed on Sunday, although the tender offer would likely take weeks to complete.

Softbank would buy $1 billion in new stock and buy shares from investors and employees worth up to 14 percent of the ride-hailing company.

It is essentially a package deal with the $1 billion investment in Uber a condition on the finalisation of the tender offer. These shares are expected to be purchased at a lower valuation.

A spokeswoman for Benchmark did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a spokesman for Kalanick declined to comment. The newly-created position will help the company expand its focus on India. Some of Uber's early investors, like the venture capital firm Benchmark, initially wanted to retain certain shareholder rights that they hold through their Uber stock, according to two of the people briefed on the discussions. In this process, a price will be decided for existing Uber shares.

Benchmark would drop a lawsuit against Kalanick if the Softbank deal goes through. The deal is also tied to new governance rules that aim to distribute power more equally and bring more oversight to the company. If Uber is hesitant to sell and SoftBank does not get 14% of ownership, Softbank can cut off the deal.

As part of the deal, Uber's board agreed to carry out a set of sweeping governance changes, including measures that reduce the influence that Travis Kalanick, Uber's former chief executive, has at the company.

Meanwhile, SoftBank has been diversifying through investment for several years, and has ventured into sectors outside its core mobile technology business - completing deals with the likes of French robotics firm Aldebaran and e-commerce with Chinese giant Alibaba (Berlin: AHLA.BE - news). A board majority would have to approve any appointments by Kalanick, who controls three seats.

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