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SoftBank invests $7 billion in Uber for 15% stake


SoftBank has finally decided to invest more than $7 billion in Uber for a 15 percent stake in the ride-hailing startup.

The deal between the two companies, which was finalised in November, got through pending phase after existing investors had agreed to sell enough shares for SoftBank to go through with the transaction.

The investment deal includes both a direct investment in the company and also a secondary transaction, buying out existing shareholders.

SoftBank on Thursday completed a tender offer to buy those shares at a discounted valuation of $48 billion, according to media reports.

Japan’s tech titan is also investing $1.25 billion in new capital in Uber at its most recent $70 billion valuation.

“We look forward to working with the purchasers to close the overall transaction, which we expect to support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance,” Uber said in a statement.

Rajeev Misra, CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisers, said the firm was “appreciative of the support from Uber’s shareholders in the successful tender offer.”

According to earlier reports, besides SoftBank, investment firms General Atlantic and Dragoneer Investment Group were also in active talks with Uber.

Benchmark was approached by SoftBank in June about a potential investment and met with founder Masayoshi Son in July in the Bay Area. But the VC firm stalled the process once it began tangling with Kalanick.

Last month, venture capital firm Benchmark, one of Uber’s largest shareholders, sought a guarantee from SoftBank that it would reject reappointing Travis Kalanick as CEO and block his appointment as chairman of the board or head of one of its subcommittees. Benchmark had led the ouster of Kalanick in June.

In August, Benchmark had also filed a lawsuit against Kalanick accusing the former chief executive of fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

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