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emfizz.com November 21, 2017


Japan's SoftBank may secure stake in Uber

15 November 2017, 12:51 | Bernard Bryant

Uber Board Members Put Aside Differences To Accept Giant Sack Of Investment Cash

Uber confirms it's reached agreement with SoftBank for potential multi-billion dollar investment

"I'm sure Uber will continue to grow from strength to strength in India and South Asia", Kohli said in an e-mailed statement.

Uber argued that once in the bag, the investment would help fuel its development in the tech sector and its continued expansion at home and overseas, "while strengthening our corporate governance".

"We've entered into an agreement with the consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer [of San Francisco] on a potential investment, a statement from Uber said". The deal also includes Uber governance changes.

The Uber board has approved SoftBank Group Corp's offer to buy a multibillion-dollar stake in the ride-hailing company, setting the stage for one of the largest private startup deals ever. Some of Uber's early investors, like the venture capital firm Benchmark, initially wanted to retain certain shareholder rights that they hold through their Uber stock, according to two of the people briefed on the discussions.

The Uber board first agreed more than a month ago to bring in SoftBank as an investor and board member, but negotiations have been slowed by ongoing fighting between Benchmark and Kalanick. 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.

Jack Gold, president of J. Gold Associates, said the deal with SoftBank suggests the Japanese firm "is now feeling much more comfortable that the board is asserting some control and that numerous bad publicity is behind Uber".

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It would also be a major victory for Khosrowshahi, who often served as a mediator to help broker the agreement, according to a third person familiar with the matter. A board majority would have to approve any appointments by Kalanick, who controls three seats.

On the successful completion of the SoftBank investment, Benchmark would drop the lawsuit entirely.

The latter filed a lawsuit against Kalanick, accusing him of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as CEO following his resignation in June.

SoftBank may not invest if conditions on share price and a minimum of shares are not satisfactory for the SoftBank Group side.

Uber's use of software aimed at thwarting rivals like Lyft has also hurt its image, and could create further legal woes. Is Uber still worth $68bn?



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