Softbank buys large stake in Uber

Dec 29, 2017, 01:50
Softbank buys large stake in Uber

Uber is finally getting its mini IPO.

Uber's shareholders have agreed to sell a 20pc stake to an investor group led by SoftBank, according to The Wall Street Journal, crossing the threshold needed for the deal to complete. They said that SoftBank is expected to acquire 15 percent, while the reminder will likely be made available to other prospective buyers.

The price is a roughly 30 per cent discount to Uber's most recent valuation of US$68 billion.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Fair will offer jobs to about 150 of the 500 or so employees at Xchange Leasing. The deadline for tender offers was 8pm (GMT). The overall transaction is expected to close in January. He continued: "We have tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees and are excited to support Uber as it continues to reinvent how people and goods are transported around the world". The closing of the deal will also mark the end of the company's supervoting share structure, moving the company to a "one share, one vote" system that further weakens the influence of early executives and shareholders. The deal will trigger a number of changes in the way the board oversees the company, which is facing with federal criminal investigations, a high-stakes lawsuit and complaints about its workplace culture.

The SoftBank investment was key to reforming Uber's dysfunctional board and bringing a detente between warring factions: former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and early Uber investor Benchmark.

As part of the deal, expected to close early next year, Uber will offer potential drivers in the United States access to Fair to lease a auto, the Journal reported.

Japanese giant Softbank is set to take a large stake in Uber, expanding its holdings in transportation companies around the world.

Kalanick resigned as Uber CEO in June after months of crisis.

SoftBank first publicly expressed interest about investing in Uber over the summer, while the startup was still looking for Kalanick's replacement. On Thursday it said that existing investors had agreed to sell enough shares for SoftBank to go through with the transaction.

SoftBank has previously pumped billions into several ride-hailing companies overseas, including Didi in China, Grab in Southeast Asia and 99 in Brazil.

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