After plenty of months of talks and rumours, SoftBank has reportedly agreed to invest in Uber in a deal which could bring its total ownership of the company up to at least 14 per cent.
Under the agreement, SoftBank and other firms will inject up to $1bn of new cash into the ride hailing firm, before proceeding with a tender offer to buy up to $9bn in shares from existing investors.
“We’ve entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment,” an Uber spokesperson told Bloomberg. “We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber’s long-term potential. Upon closing, it will help fuel our investments in technology and our continued expansion at home and abroad, while strengthening our corporate governance.”
The deal could yet fall through, depending on the number of interested sellers and the price at which SoftBank and its consortium are expected to pay for shares.
As part of the deal, Uber investor Benchmark Capital has agreed to drop its complaint against former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to pave way for the investment. In addition, Kalanick has agreed to give the board majority approval over the seats he controls on it, should he need to fill the seats again. Both of these had been barriers preventing the investment from going through but, now sorted, it seems likely SoftBank will complete the deal.