Uber Is Close to Deal to Sell Stake to SoftBank

Gwen Vasquez
November 15, 2017

The investment by the technology conglomerate could be announced Sunday, says the person, who didn't want to be identified because it hasn't been finalized.

The ride-hailing company said the money would fuel Uber's expansion and investments in technology.

"We've entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment".

Confirming the development, an Uber spokesperson said: "Shweta has been a great advocate for Uber and the development of ridesharing in India".

Uber's tieup with Japanese tech giant SoftBank suggests the ridesharing giant is set to come of age in the business world, but it still faces a long road ahead.

While Uber has become a global phenomenon operating in more than 600 cities and dozens of countries, it is trying to move past a series of scandals and missteps that have included executive misconduct, a toxic work atmosphere and potentially unethical competitive practices. The firm will also suspend the lawsuit that it filed against Mr. Kalanick, and drop the suit upon completion of the tender offer. SoftBank plans to buy about $1 billion of fresh stock at Uber's current valuation of about $68.5 billion, but the bulk of the deal will be purchasing existing Uber shares from current investors. SoftBank is a major investor in Ola and Grab, Uber's rivals in those regions.

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Completing the SoftBank deal would allow Uber to open a new chapter after a year of controversy, including the resignation of Kalanick, the ouster of several top executives, sexual harassment and discrimination allegations, and multiple federal criminal probes.

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

Uber's chief of policy for India and South Asia has quit, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, in the latest high-level departure at the online taxi company. In addition to his own seat, Kalanick controls two more, which are occupied by Ursula Brown, the former Xerox Corp CEO, and former Merrill Lynch & Co Inc CEO John Thain. Kalanick appointed them in September without first consulting with the board.

Softbank has yet made no comments on the deal.

SoftBank plans to purchase the Uber shares along with other investors, including Dragoneer, an investment firm.

The deal gives early investors such as Benchmark, whose Uber stake is worth almost $9 billion, the opportunity to cash out a very lucrative investment.

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