Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Softbank set to buy $10 billion stake of Uber

Softbank set to buy $10 billion stake of Uber

In addition to the direct purchase of $1bn Uber shares, Softbank also wants to buy out other investors' shares up to a total of $9bn, according to financial newswire Bloomberg. Now, the company has confirmed that Uber has sealed a multibillion dollar investment round from Japan.

The group led by SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group is also planning to invest a much larger amount by buying up to $9 billion in Uber shares.

Ride-hailing app Uber has agreed to sell a stake of itself to Japanese investment group Softbank, for a figure believed to be $10bn. The deal also includes Uber governance changes.

Uber is valued at $68 billion, the most highly valued venture-backed company in the world. Under the deal, the company's initial public offering (IPO) will take place before the end of 2019.

As part of the deal, venture capital firm Benchmark agreed to put its lawsuit against Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick on hold, and drop the complaint when SoftBank's investment and the governance reforms kick in, the people said.

Softbank is a major Japanese conglomerate which has made a habit of investing in tech firms in Silicon Valley, with the likes of Slack and WeWork already on the receiving end of major investments from the company, which also bought United Kingdom chipmaker ARM Holdings. But there will likely be heavy arguments about the shares' worth in the coming weeks. Should current Uber investors decide that Softbank's buyout offer isn't tempting enough for them to sell up, it would seem that Kalanick will be back on the hook.

Crucially, Softbank expects to buy up others' Uber shares at a lower price than it will pay for its direct investment.

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.

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