Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Softbank Plays Hardball On Uber, Gets 30% Discount, Kalanick $1.4 B

Softbank Plays Hardball On Uber, Gets 30% Discount, Kalanick $1.4 B

Uber's cofounder and former CEO Travis Kalanick is planning to sell $1.4 billion (S$1.9 billion) of stock in the company, or 29 per cent of his stake, a source familiar with the arrangement told CNBC.

Several other Uber shareholders sold much of their holdings, including Menlo Ventures, which parted with a similar percentage of its holdings as Kalanick did.

If the sale goes through, Kalanick stands to become a billionaire, but the deal still comes as a surprise considering that he previously boasted about having never sold a single Uber share before, said TechCrunch.

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The deal has always been expected, and would unite one of the world's most ambitious tech investing funds with one of the most valuable start-ups. That tender offer, which concluded late last month, values Uber at $48 billion-a.

SoftBank last week secured agreements from shareholders who were willing to sell, and the deal will close early this year, Uber said.

Kalanick was forced from his position as chief executive of Uber a year ago after a series of embarrassing revelations.

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When Softbank's investment plans are complete, Uber's board is expected to rise from 11 members to 17 members, with a number of fresh executives appointed by Softbank and its consortium.

Uber declined to comment for this story. Bloomberg reports that Softbank played hardball with the sometimes troubled tech unicorn, agreeing to pay a discounted price for shares to acquire 15 percent equity in the company.

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