Uber sells stake to Softbank for 30% discount

Posted December 29, 2017

While we have yet to learn which investors have cashed out for the price of about $33 a share, Thursday's result is the reward for years of drama at a company that nevertheless saw astronomical growth since its founding in 2009. SoftBank has access to all kinds of technology that could be relevant to Uber's self-driving vehicle plans via its other investments, and with its help, Uber will be better positioned to expand into Asia.

The investment is poised to trigger several major organizational changes at Uber that were contingent on securing SoftBank's funding.

The deal is expected to close at the beginning of 2018.

The shake-up was supported by Uber's new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who has said he hopes to list Uber's shares publicly in 2019. Also, SoftBank holds investments in multiple Uber competitors, so it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

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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. SoftBank, which is heavily invested in other ride-hailing companies around the globe, could help Uber strike more partnership deals, especially in Asia. It also continues to experience steep losses.

In November, Uber also came clean about its coverup of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of its customers and drivers.

The Uber transaction, which was months in the making, comes in two parts.

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. Earlier reports have indicated that Dragoneer Investment Group and existing Uber backer General Atlantic may be among the interested parties.