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SoftBank Buys Major Stake In Uber

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Uber Technologies Inc. shareholders have agreed to sell a significant stake in the ride-hailing company to an investor consortium led by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp (SFTBF.PK). The deal values Uber at $48 billion, a nearly 30 percent discount to the company's previous valuation of about $68 billion.

In addition, the SoftBank-led investor group that includes Dragoneer Investment Group, TPG, Tencent Holdings and Sequoia Capital, will make a $1.25 billion investment of fresh funding in Uber at the company's previous valuation of $68 billion.

"We look forward to working with the purchasers to close the overall transaction, which we expect to support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance," Uber said in a statement.

Following the investment, the SoftBank-led group will own a nearly 17.5 percent stake in Uber, with SoftBank holding the largest stake at 15 percent. The deal also reportedly includes governance changes at Uber.

"We are appreciative of the support from Uber's shareholders in the successful tender offer and look forward to closing the overall investment in January. We have tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership," said Rajeev Misra, head of SoftBank's Vision Fund, a $98 billion tech investment vehicle.

Uber is being forced to accept a reduced price for the deal as it tries to overcome a series of scandals, leadership turmoil and executive departures.

Uber's co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted from the company's top job earlier this year after a series of crises. In August, Uber named Dara Khosrowshahi, the head of travel booking website Expedia, as its new CEO, succeeding Kalanick.

Meanwhile, the Uber deal adds to SoftBank's expanding ride-hailing portfolio. The company is already an investor in China-based Didi Chuxing, Singapore-based Grab and India's Ola.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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