Softbank eyes up investment in Uber

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14 Nov, 2017

Softbank eyes up investment in Uber

The Japanese telecommunications company confirmed on Tuesday that it is considering investing in the troubled transport firm, Uber Technologies, but said no final agreement has been reached yet.

A consortium led by Japan’s Softbank and Dragoneer Investment Group are planning to invest between $1bn and $1.25bn in Uber, this includes the purchase of up to 17% of existing shares in a secondary transaction. Reuters reports that, in total, the investment in total could be worth up to $10bn.

In a statement, Softbank said: “If conditions on share price and a minimum of shares are not satisfactory for the SoftBank Group side, there is a possibility the SoftBank Group may not make an investment”.

Uber have experienced a calamitous 2017 that saw them lose their licence in London over workers’ rights and receive several allegations over unequal pay. The year has also seen the founder and CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, ousted from the company after multiple shareholders demanded his resignation. Despite dropping down from CEO, Kalanick remains on Uber’s board of directors.

However, despite its troubles, Uber remains the most highly valued venture-backed company in the world and the company view this interest as a strong vote of confidence on the company’s future and capacity to grow further.

In a statement, they said: “We’ve entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment. We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber’s long-term potential. Upon closing, it will help fuel our investments in technology and our continued expansion at home and abroad, while strengthening our corporate governance”.

Furthermore, despite losing the London licence earlier in the year, the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has hinted that Uber could get it back after he said that he would be willing to reach a compromise on the matter.

Earlier this year, Transport for London (TfL) chose not to renew Uber’s license, citing its approach to reporting criminal offences and carrying out background checks on drivers.

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