Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Technology | By Russell Knight

Uber Is Close to Deal to Sell Stake to SoftBank

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

A consortium of investors led by SoftBank and Dragoneer reportedly plan to invest $1 billion to $1.25 billion in Uber.

Uber had said funds from SoftBank, subject to the closure of the deal, would help the US-based startup fuel investments in technology and expansion in its home market as well as other countries.

But the Japanese firm voiced caution, saying: "While the SoftBank Group side is considering an investment in Uber, there is no final agreement at this stage".

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If completed, the firm plans to use the funds to expand its business further as it faces increasing competition at home and overseas.

The paperwork's done! The long-anticipated SoftBank Group investment into Uber has been agreed upon, a spokesperson confirms to TechCrunch.

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

Under the agreement, SoftBank and its investors will buy at least 14 percent of Uber through a mix of newly created and existing stocks, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. If the deal is completed, Benchmark will drop a lawsuit against Kalanick, who will in return allow Uber's board directors to vote on his selected board appointees in the future. SoftBank will gain two Uber board seats as part of the investment.

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However, the deal will only materialise once adequate Uber shareholders decide to sell shares.

In October, Uber's board made sweeping reforms within the company proposed by new Uber CEO Khosrowshahi and Goldman Sachs, which set the SoftBank deal and the 2019 IPO plans in motion. Benchmark and others ultimately agreed to waive those rights in exchange for concessions from SoftBank over the tender offer process, the people said.

In turn, Kalanick must receive majority board approval should he want to replace the board seats over which he has control. Kalanick appointed them in September without first consulting with the board.

Progress in the negotiations came after venture capital firm Benchmark, an early investor with a board seat in the ride-services company, and former Chief Executive Travis Kalanick struck a peace deal, reaching agreement over terms of the planned SoftBank investment. The company has threatened to invest in ride-hailing rival Lyft if it does not get the Uber deal done.

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