Sci-tech

Softbank says there's a 'possibility' it won't invest in Uber

Softbank says there's a 'possibility' it won't invest in Uber

Confirming the development, an Uber spokesperson said: "Shweta has been a great advocate for Uber and the development of ridesharing in India".

Uber argued that once in the bag, the investment would help fuel its development in the tech sector and its continued expansion at home and overseas, "while strengthening our corporate governance".

"We've entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment", Uber said in a statement to Gizmodo today.

With so many scandals, issues and controversies, Uber need this investment.

A consortium of investors led by SoftBank and Dragoneer reportedly plan to invest $1 billion to $1.25 billion in Uber.

These shares are expected to be purchased at a lower valuation, yet to be determined.

A spokeswoman for Benchmark did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a spokesman for Kalanick declined to comment.

The Japanese group, founded by billionaire Masayoshi Son, expressed an interest several months ago in investing around $1 billion in Uber for a stake of at least 14 percent.

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SoftBank also owns pieces of ride-hailing companies around the world, including Didi Chuxing in China, Ola in India, Grab in Southeast Asia and 99 in Brazil.

The SoftBank deal is critical for Uber because it will trigger significant governance reforms, which include moving to one vote per share and expanding the board size to 17. Those changes are contingent on the SoftBank investing in Uber.

Technically, the deal will only be done once enough Uber shareholders sign up to sell shares. The deal is also tied to new governance rules that aim to distribute power more equally and bring more oversight to the company.

Since that meeting, SoftBank, Uber and Uber's early investors have haggled over deal terms.

It would also be a major victory for Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, who often served as a mediator to help broker the agreement, according to a third person familiar with the matter.

The deal with SoftBank is aimed at getting past the clashes between Kalanick and early investors like Benchmark Capital, which has sued the former CEO.

In turn, Kalanick must receive majority board approval should he want to replace the board seats over which he has control, according to the source.

The latter filed a lawsuit against Kalanick, accusing him of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as CEO following his resignation in June. "We are interested in Uber but the final deal will depend on the tender price and a minimum percentage shareholding for SoftBank". The company has threatened to invest in ride-hailing rival Lyft if it does not get the Uber deal done. Is Uber still worth $68bn?


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