Softbank reaches deal to get big discount on Uber shares

Softbank reaches deal to get big discount on Uber shares

The tender offer values Uber at $48bn (£36bn), nearly a third lower than its most recent valuation of $69bn.

SoftBank's tender offer for Uber resulted in a resounding success and has convinced stakeholders to offer to sell as much as 20 percent of the ride-hailing service provider, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the development. That price valued the app-based taxi company at around $48 billion, which was about 30% less than the $69 billion valuation it had after its most recent funding round. 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 agreement, SoftBank will obtain two seats on Uber's expanded 17-person board, which still includes former CEO Travis Kalanick.

Kalanick stepped down in June following revelations that his company's culture had become toxic and encouraged sexism and inappropriate behavior.

As part of the deal, SoftBank is expected to buy shares from employees and investors worth about 15% of the company and will invest an additional $1.25 billion directly into Uber. But SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son had repeatedly teased the possibility - some might say threat - of investing in Lyft instead, including as recently as last month.

Getting the company ready to go public will be Khosrowshahi's ultimate goal over the next year, though it won't be easy.

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Erik Gordon, an entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, told Reuters the stockholders did the smart thing.

The deal will allow SoftBank to invest a significant amount of its "Vision Fund", a $100 billion fund earmarked for technology-focused companies around the world. Misra said SoftBank had "tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees".

Japanese giant Softbank is set to take a large stake in Uber, expanding its holdings in transportation companies around the world.

Uber hasn't had a great year.

Uber said the investment would fuel its expansion and technology investments.

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