Published: Fri, December 29, 2017
Money | By Michele Stevens

SoftBank Succeeds in Tender Offer for Large Stake in Uber

SoftBank Succeeds in Tender Offer for Large Stake in Uber

Softbank will buy shares from Uber investors and employees in an agreement that values Uber at $48 billion, versus the company's most recent $70 billion valuation, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday (paywall). SoftBank is said to be limiting its purchase to 15pc, with other investors to buy the additional shares.

Misra said in a statement that SoftBank has "tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees".

SoftBank is scooping up a large chunk of Uber's shares after it opened a tender offer, reports the Wall Street Journal. 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. Dara Khosrowshahi, the former CEO of Expedia, took Kalanick's place in August after a lengthy search. Uber is losing more than US$1 billion each quarter, and a new cash infusion is critical.

Softbank led a consortium that reportedly agreed to invest at least $8bn for a roughly 15% stake in the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company.

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Getting the company ready to go public will be Khosrowshahi's ultimate goal over the next year, though it won't be easy.

Uber said it would use the investment "to support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance".

The Uber deal marks the latest massive investment by SoftBank's $93 billion Vision Fund.

The investment is poised to trigger several major organizational changes at Uber that were contingent on securing SoftBank's funding.

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As part of the deal, Uber's board will expand from 11 members to 17 members.

SoftBank offered $33 per Uber share. However some Uber investors were concerned the price SoftBank was offering was too low, according to Recode.

Uber Technologies Inc said in September it was shutting down the auto-leasing business, which had heavy losses.

The Uber investment comes after a year of troubles for the company, including a lawsuit by Alphabet Inc's self-driving auto unit Waymo that alleges trade-secrets theft and federal investigations that span possible bribery of foreign officials in Asian countries and the use of software to evade regulators.

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