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Uber gives the green light to Softbank deal
15 November 2017, 12:52 | Ross Houston
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.
"Upon closing, it will help fuel our investments in technology and our continued expansion at home and overseas, while strengthening our corporate governance", it added.
A day after Uber said that it has agreed to SoftBank's multibillion dollar investment, the Japanese conglomerate said that it was still only considering the investment and that there was no final agreement at this stage, according to a report in Reuters.
Uber confirmed the deal was moving forward.
Misra noted that Uber and its shareholders had agreed to commence with a tender process and engage with SoftBank after a "long and arduous process of several months".
While Uber has become a global phenomenon operating in more than 600 cities and dozens of countries, it is trying to move past a series of scandals and missteps that have included executive misconduct, a toxic work atmosphere and potentially unethical competitive practices. SoftBank plans to buy about $1 billion of fresh stock at Uber's current valuation of about $68.5 billion, but the bulk of the deal will be purchasing existing Uber shares from current investors.
SoftBank's investment in Uber pressures Uber's main American rival, Lyft, to raise more money to compete on driver incentive deals and lower prices. The deal is also tied to new governance rules that aim to distribute power more equally and bring more oversight to the company.
Benchmark would drop a lawsuit against Kalanick if the Softbank deal goes through.
Jack Gold, president of J. Gold Associates, said the deal with SoftBank suggests the Japanese firm "is now feeling much more comfortable that the board is asserting some control and that numerous bad publicity is behind Uber".
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.
Uber's board already approved a slate of governance reforms that are contingent on completion of the SoftBank deal. A board majority would have to approve any appointments by Kalanick, who controls three seats. In addition to his own seat, Kalanick controls two more, which are occupied by Ursula Burns, the former Xerox Corp CEO, and former Merrill Lynch & CO Inc CEO John Thain.
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