March 19, 2018

Uber board has struck an agreement to pave way for SoftBank investment

13 November 2017, 09:39 | Lucia Cruz

VC firm, Uber ex-CEO put lawsuit on hold so investment deal can go ahead

SoftBank to buy chunk of Uber

"We've entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment", a company statement said in a statement Sunday evening.

"We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber's long-term potential".

Uber said the investment would be used to fuel the firm's expansion and power further investments in new technology.

SoftBank would also be investing $1 billion directly in Uber as an extension of the last Series G round, at its last private valuation of almost $70 billion. SoftBank is also expected to invest billions more buying up shares from existing shareholders at a discounted rate, depending on demand from sellers.

And if Softbank isn't able to buy at least 14 percent of Uber, it can walk away.

If the SoftBank deal goes through, it would function like a mini-IPO that helps tide Uber over until it actually goes public in 2019 as planned.

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Benchmark and former CEO Travis Kalanick are two of the largest shareholders, and it's uncertain whether either party wants to sell any of their stake. When approached by a media house, Softbank declined to comment on the potential investment. Benchmark has agreed to suspend its lawsuit against Kalanick, and drop it completely once the tender offer goes through. In return, Kalanick will allow board directors to vote on his selected board appointees in the future, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But over the weekend London Mayor Sadiq Khan recognised that Uber had apologised for mistakes and appeared ready to change after Transport for London refused to renew its licence in September, saying that it was not a fit and proper private auto hire operator.

SoftBank, which owns shares in other ride-hailing companies outside the United States, will receive two seats on Uber's board once the offer is complete, according to the New York Times.

As part of the agreement, Kalanick has agreed that he can not fill the three board seats he controls in the future without majority approval by the board, according to two people familiar with the matter.

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