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SoftBank Succeeds in Tender Offer for Large Stake in Uber

29 December 2017

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.

SoftBank will also invest $1 billion into Uber at the company's higher valuation. It also paves the way for an overhaul of the company after a turbulent year, complete with criminal probes, a lawsuit over trade secrets allegedly stolen from Google's self-driving vehicle division and internal investigations into its toxic company culture.

As part of the deal, Kalanick agreed that he can not fill the three board seats he controls in the future without majority approval by the board.

Khosrowshahi, who took the top job in August after Travis Kalanick was forced to step down in June, helped negotiate the deal.

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SoftBank's bid to purchase a sizable stake in ride-hailing titan Uber has succeeded. Employees and investors allegedly tendered shares representing 20% of the company. On Thursday it said that existing investors had agreed to sell enough shares for SoftBank to go through with the transaction. It will also buy $1 billion of shares directly from Uber at the older $70 billion valuation. The company is also planning an initial public offering in 2019. The price is less important than locking in the governance changes and securing the support of the world's most powerful technology investor,"said Erik Gordon an entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business". SoftBank will appoint Vision Fund head Rajeev Misra to the board, along with others associated with the massive fund, according to the report.

SoftBank has previously pumped billions into several ride-hailing companies overseas, including Didi in China, Grab in Southeast Asia and 99 in Brazil.

Over the past year, a former employee's charges of endemic sexual harassment led to an internal review, the mayor of London said he would strip Uber of its licence and Uber revealed it had covered up a major hack.

The moves come as Uber concludes a hard year, in which it faced a sexual harassment scandal, investigations by regulators and a lawsuit over allegedly stolen technology, among other challenges.

SoftBank Succeeds in Tender Offer for Large Stake in Uber