Softbank buys large stake in Uber

New York Uber Drivers Protest Rate Cuts

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.

Last month, Uber disclosed that it had covered up a security breach that had compromised the personal data of 57 million rider and driver accounts, and SoftBank was able to talk down the price of its investment. As CNNMoney has previously reported, this latter investment was contingent on SoftBank getting enough Uber insiders to sell for it to gain a stake of at least 14%. It marks the first significant piece of business for new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who is now preparing the embattled ride-hailing company to go public by 2019. SoftBank will get two seats on the expanded board, a source told Reuters. It will also buy $1 billion of shares directly from Uber at the older $70 billion valuation.

Uber and Softbank have reportedly cut a deal that allows the Japanese fund acquire 15 percent of the ride-hailing giant at a deep discount. Other members of SoftBank's bidding group.

The deal nevertheless sharply discounts Uber's value, which past year was estimated at nearly $70 billion. Uber board members agreed in early November to governance changes to pave the way for the SoftBank deal. He continued: "We have tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees and are excited to support Uber as it continues to reinvent how people and goods are transported around the world".

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

Uber's corporate governance, set to be overhauled as part of the SoftBank deal, became a hot-button issue this year after the company saw a seemingly never ending string of crises and experienced the resignation of its cofounder and CEO Travis Kalanick.

The Uber investment comes after a year of troubles for the company, including a lawsuit by Alphabet Inc's self-driving vehicle 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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