SoftBank buys Uber shares at 30pc discount as investors cash out

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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.

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.

Uber now has a powerful strategic partner in SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant that is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in technology.

Still, the price is at a 30 percent discount to the most recent valuation of $68 billion. The deadline for tender offers was 8pm (GMT).

SoftBank buys Uber shares at 30pc discount as investors cash out
SoftBank buys Uber shares at 30pc discount as investors cash out

Uber investors and employees tendered shares equal to about 20 percent of the company, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. Dara Khosrowshahi, a former travel industry executive, became Uber's new C.E.O. in August, and said his top priority was ending the public fights between board members and Mr. Kalanick, who had been trying to retain some control over the company he helped found. Uber will enact governance reforms that disempower the two warring factions and increase the size of the board to a massive 17 people.

SoftBank probably will limit its purchase in the tender offer to 15 percent of Uber, and other members of its group are likely to buy additional shares. Its Softbank Vision Fund is a almost $100 billion investment fund snapping up stakes in emerging technology companies around the world, with roughly half the money targeted for investments in the U.S.

Uber's legal tangles include a lawsuit by Alphabet Inc.'s self-driving auto unit Waymo that alleges trade-secrets theft and federal investigations that span possible bribery of foreign officials in Asian countries and the use of software to evade regulators.

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