Markets

Uber Sells Stake to SoftBank, Valuing Ride-Hailing Giant at $48 Billion

Uber Sells Stake to SoftBank, Valuing Ride-Hailing Giant at $48 Billion

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.

Uber's shareholders have agreed to sell a 20pc stake to an investor group led by SoftBank, according to The Wall Street Journal, crossing the threshold needed for the deal to complete.

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.

The tender offer came at a particularly bad time for the company.

Carrie Fisher's daughter pays tribute to her
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Uber hasn't had a great year. The bid placed a 30 percent discount on Uber compared to its 2014 valuation of $68.5 billion which made it the world's most valuable startup, with SoftBank also agreeing to inject $1 billion into the company at its old valuation in an attempt to avoid a scenario in which the firm is severely devalued as a result of the move.

Uber's board of directors, which had devolved into a power struggle between Uber's former CEO, Travis Kalanick, and its largest investor, Benchmark, will now likely be calmer. Still, $48 billion is very different than $70 billion.

SoftBank and its co-investors have successfully acquired at least 13 percent of Uber, a major victory for Uber's new CEO and one that will give billions of dollars in cash to some of the company's earliest investors and employees.

Uber investors and employees tendered shares equal to about 20 pct of the company, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. SoftBank will appoint Vision Fund head Rajeev Misra to the board, along with others associated with the massive fund, according to the report. SoftBank will occupy two seats on the company's board and will now be an extremely influential player in decisions at Uber.


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