Japan's SoftBank Will Buy 15 Percent Stake in Uber

The company still faces numerous legal challenges, including a massive trade secrets lawsuit with Alphabet's self-driving vehicle unit Waymo and multiple government investigations into potentially illegal business practices. Other members of SoftBank's bidding group. It marks the first significant piece of business for new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who is now preparing the embattled ride-hailing company to go public by 2019. The tender offer period concluded on Thursday.

SoftBank has bought a major stake in Uber at a steep 30pc discount, after a chaotic year in which the ride-hailing firm faced a string of scandals, saw its chief executive resign and was hit with United Kingdom city bans.

The tender offer valued Uber at about 30% less than the $69 billion it was pegged at in June 2016, after the company sold a chunk of shares to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund for $3.5 billion.

SoftBank, a Japanese tech and telecoms consortium, has acquired a 13-15 percent stake in Uber, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will trigger governance changes including expanding Uber's board from 11 to 17 members, limiting some early shareholders' voting power and cutting the control wielded by former chief executive Travis Kalanick. It will also buy $1 billion of shares directly from Uber at the older $70 billion valuation. Its Softbank Vision Fund is a almost $100 billion investment fund snapping up stakes in emerging technology companies around the world, with roughly half the money targeted for investments in the U.S.

"We have tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees and are excited to support Uber as it continues to reinvent how people and goods are transported around the world", Rajeev Misra, chief executive of SoftBank Investment Advisers and a director at SoftBank Group Corp., said in a statement.

  • Anthony Vega