Friday, 21 September, 2018

SoftBank buys large stake in Uber

Chris Jackson  Getty Chris Jackson Getty
Elsie Buchanan | 29 December, 2017, 01:53

The SoftBank deal triggers new governance terms at Uber that were approved by the company's board in October, though. However, the Journal reports that SoftBank will limit its stake to 15%. It will also buy $1 billion of shares directly from Uber at the older $70 billion valuation.

SoftBank will also invest $1 billion into Uber at the company's higher valuation.

Sources familiar with the matter told the publication that stakeholders are tendering 20 percent of the equity in the ride-hailing company.

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

As part of the agreement, SoftBank will obtain two seats on Uber's expanded 17-person board, which still includes former CEO Travis Kalanick.

"The stockholders did the smart thing", said Erik Gordon, an entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. The closing of the deal will also mark the end of the company's supervoting share structure, moving the company to a "one share, one vote" system that further weakens the influence of early executives and shareholders.

Mad About You revival could happen with Reiser, Hunt
Reiser had hinted at a reboot doing press for Stranger Things , telling People , "For years, I would've said, 'Absolutely no". Mad About You was nearly canceled until it was slotted with Seinfeld and Frasier on must-see comedy Thursday nights in 1993.


The shake-up was supported by Uber's new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who has said he hopes to list Uber's shares publicly in 2019.

Rajeev Misra, the chief executive of SoftBank's Vision Fund, a $98bn tech investment vehicle, will join the Uber board, along with a second representative from SoftBank. SoftBank will occupy two seats on the company's board and will now be an extremely influential player in decisions at Uber.

Some initial investors in the consortium, including General Atlantic, dropped out over disagreement about the price offered to shareholders, Reuters previously reported.

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

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has taken a keen interest in ride-hailing companies around the world, and already has sizeable stakes in China's Didi, Brazil-based 99, India's Ola and Singapore's Grab, all of which have competed with Uber.

The moves come as Uber concludes a hard year, in which it faced a sexual harassment scandal, investigations by regulators and a lawsuit over allegedly stolen technology, among other challenges.

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