Japan's SoftBank Will Buy 15 Percent Stake in Uber

Japan's SoftBank Will Buy 15 Percent Stake in Uber

Japan's SoftBank Will Buy 15 Percent Stake in Uber

As part of the deal, Uber's board will expand from 11 members to 17 members.

The development suggests many investors in Uber are now prepared to cash out, with SoftBank's offer being beneficial to anyone who backed the company in a period between 2010 and 2013.

Uber suffered another blow this month when the European Union's top court ruled that the ride-share company should be regulated like a taxi company and not a technology service, a decision that could change the way Uber functions across the continent and crimp its future profit potential.

More than anything, however, SoftBank's presence on the board of Uber should help bring an end to the in-fighting that has plagued the company all year. The Japanese conglomerate set a threshold for its bid at 14 percent and while it's now able to purchase almost 50 percent more than it originally planned, it's reportedly limiting its offer to a 15 percent stake.

SoftBank Succeeds in Tender Offer for Large Stake in Uber

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 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. The tender offer period concluded on Thursday.

SoftBank, a Japanese tech and telecoms consortium, has acquired a 13-15 percent stake in Uber, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The price offered for the shares valued the firm at $48bn and was a discount to Uber's most recent fundraising round, but for some of the firm's earliest investors could provide a big payoff. However, major Uber investors were reportedly kept "largely in the dark" during the negotiations about whether or not they will have an opportunity to offload shares. SoftBank will appoint Vision Fund head Rajeev Misra to the board, along with others associated with the massive fund, according to the report.

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