March 20, 2018

Uber said it finally reached a deal with SoftBank

14 November 2017, 11:53 | Melvin Schneider

CNet estimates that SoftBank's investment in Uber will give it anywhere between 14 and 20 per cent of the company's equity.

An Uber representative quoted by CNet says: "We've entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment".

Misra noted that Uber and its shareholders had agreed to commence with a tender process and engage with SoftBank after a "long and arduous process of several months". People from SoftBank did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

SoftBank Investment Advisors and SoftBank Group Corp board director, Rajeev Misra emphasised that "by no means is our investment decided".

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Uber has suffered a tumultuous few months which has seen former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick forced out after a series of boardroom controversies and other regulatory battles in multiple USA states and around the world. A source with knowledge of the matter said that the deal comes with a resolution to have an initial public offering by 2019.

Since that meeting, SoftBank, Uber and Uber's early investors have haggled over deal terms.

Currently Uber's largest shareholder is United States venture capital firm Benchmark with a 13 percent stake and founder Travis Kalanick who has a 10 percent stake. SoftBank will gain two Uber board seats as part of the investment.

Uber is now valued at around $68.5bn (£52.4bn), but reports suggest that the stock offers would be based on a lower valuation, making the total value of the multibillion-dollar deal unclear. It operates in about 30 Indian cities and competes with Ola, a ride hailing service backed by Japan's Softbank. Uber left the China market in 2016 by selling its operation to Didi and taking a minority investment stake in the new company. "Depending on the price and conditions, it is wholly possible we could shift our investment to the other main company Lyft".

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