Thursday, 23 November, 2017

SoftBank: Considering Uber but "no final agreement" yet

Japanese tech firm Soft Bank poured cold water on the Uber investment saying there was no final agreement Japanese tech firm Soft Bank poured cold water on the Uber investment saying there was no final agreement
Preston Stone | 14 November, 2017, 12:37

The statement came after Uber said it had entered an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and investment group Dragoneer on what it termed a "potential investment".

"We are interested in Uber, but the final deal will depend on the tender price and a minimum percentage shareholding for SoftBank", he said in a statement.

SoftBank and Dragoneer are leading a consortium that plans to invest $1 billion to $1.25 billion in Uber, the mostly highly valued venture-backed company in the world, along with a purchase of up to 17 percent of existing shares in a secondary transaction. During that process, a price will be set for the existing Uber shares. If Uber is hesitant to sell and SoftBank does not get 14% of ownership, Softbank can cut off the deal.

An Uber spokesman declined to comment on Sunday.

The agreement follows an October 3 Uber board meeting, in which directors voted to move forward with an investment from SoftBank.

Uber unveiled the deal after former CEO Travis Kalanick and an influential investor reportedly buried the hatchet after a long feud.

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Kohli had joined Uber India in September previous year and was responsible for the company's relations with policymakers, regulators, government officials, industry bodies and others.

But the deal was threatened by conflict between Kalanick and USA venture capital firm Benchmark.

There's still a lot of jockeying to be done before a tender offer goes through, and at least one existing Uber investor is already pushing for a rich valuation. Uber wants to strengthen its corporate governance. Finally, this week, Benchmark relented after Uber's new Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi and other board members urged the firm to do so, two of the people said.

Uber does not necessarily need new money, as it has raised more than $10 billion in debt and equity and has some $5 billion in the bank.

"I'm extremely proud of the team we've built to push forward progressive ridesharing reform measures in one of the fastest growing regions for the company".

A deal would be positive for Uber, which is seeking to turn the page after recent repeated scandals, among them workplace sexual harassment allegations.

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