Uber Investors Are Said to Agree to Sell in SoftBank Deal

29 December, 2017, 02:21 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • As part of the deal Soft Bank intends to invest $1.25 billion in Uber at its higher valuation of $68 billion. File

Uber is finally getting its mini IPO.

Uber and Softbank have reportedly cut a deal that allows the Japanese fund acquire 15 percent of the ride-hailing giant at a deep discount.

A separate statement from Rajeev Misra, chief executive of SoftBank Investment Advisers, said, "We are appreciative of the support from Uber's shareholders in the successful tender offer and look forward to closing the overall investment in January". And in a maneuver to prop up Uber's value, SoftBank will also purchase up to $1.25 billion worth of new shares at the existing valuation of $67.5 billion.

Uber will use the investment "to support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance", a spokesperson, who declined to be named, said. It also paves the way for an overhaul of the company after a turbulent year, complete with criminal probes, a lawsuit over trade secrets allegedly stolen from Google's self-driving vehicle division and internal investigations into its toxic company culture. The investor group, which includes SoftBank, Dragoneer Investment Group, TPG, Tencent Holdings Ltd., and Sequoia Capital, also will put at least another $1 billion directly into the San Francisco-based business at a higher valuation of $69 billion, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the transaction isn't yet complete. With this tender offer, Khosrowshahi was able convince some of the company's early powerbrokers, including venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, to whittle down their stakes in the company to bring on what he believes will be a stabilizing force in SoftBank.

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As part of the deal, Kalanick agreed that he can not fill the three board seats he controls in the future without majority approval by the board. SoftBank will occupy two seats on the company's board and will now be an extremely influential player in decisions at Uber.

Dara Khosrowshahi has been a champion of SoftBank's proposal since taking over as chief executive officer in September. Uber's board also adopted a new voting system that will further lessen Kalanick's influence.

In June, Kalanick was forced to step down, although he remains on the board and is still one of the largest stakeholders.

Some initial investors in the consortium, including General Atlantic, dropped out over disagreement about the price offered to shareholders, Reuters previously reported. But SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son had repeatedly teased the possibility - some might say threat - of investing in Lyft instead, including as recently as last month.

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