SoftBank picks up majority stake in Uber
[THE INVESTOR] Uber Technologies has decided to accept the investment proposal led by Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank to pick up majority stake, bringing months-long negotiations to a close, according to latest news reports.
SoftBank -- along with Dragoneer Investment Group, General Atlantic and Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing -- will directly invest US$1 billion into Uber. In addition, the consortium will purchase up to US$9 billion worth Uber stocks from existing shareholders.
Currently Uber’s largest shareholder is US venture capital firm Benchmark with a 13 percent stake and founder Travis Kalanick who has a 10 percent stake. If the new deal is closed, the SoftBank-led consortium will own about 14 percent stake in the ride-sharing pioneer, currently valued at around US$68 billion.
Uber will reportedly enact corporate governance changes that its board approved last month. A source with knowledge of the matter said that the deal comes with a resolution to have an initial public offering by 2019.
The SoftBank deal is critical for Uber because it will trigger significant governance reforms, which include moving to one vote per share and expanding the board size to 17. SoftBank is also expected to appoint two directors to the board and participate in management.
By Alex Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)