Uber is close to securing an investment deal with Softbank, which if succesful, could amount to £10bn according to reports.
TechCrunch were given the following statement: “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… strengthening our corporate governance.”
Uber have said the money is going to aid them in their international expansion and technological advancements. The aim of the expansion is partly due to the competition they are currently experiencing.
As well as an initial $1bn investment, Softbank will attempt to buy up £6.8bn ($9bn) worth of shares, resulting in a total stake of 14% in Uber. However, this is reliant on the agreement of a fairly complex tender offer.
The tender offer is set to take place on November 28th and could go on for 20 business days, making it possibly the biggest secondary transaction ever.
Given that any deal would be reliant on existing Uber shareholders selling their stakes, the process will require more work before it can be finalised. To help spread the word about their tender offer to existing shareholders including venture capitalists and ex-employees, Uber plan on putting adverts into newspapers.
According to TechCrunch, the following statement was given to reporters via Softbank on behalf of Rajeev Misra, CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisors: “After a long and arduous process of several months it looks like Uber and its shareholders have agreed to commence with a tender process and engage with SoftBank. By no means is our investment decided. We are interested in Uber but the final deal will depend on the tender price and a minimum percentage shareholding for SoftBank.”
The statement made by Softbank reveals that the deal has not been confirmed and will depend on the agreement of the tender price and percentage shareholding for Softbank.
This investment is seen by many as potentially crucial for Uber. Up until now, employees were unable to sell shares of the company and this investment will aid them in turning paper riches into cash.
It’s been a difficult year for Uber so far with legal battles involving Alphabets self-driving car division, the loss of their licence to operate in London and attacks on their company culture. The CEO Travis Kalanick was also forced to step down in June this year amid several scandals and legal wrangling with investors.
The investment made by Softbank might not only provide a welcome boost at a difficult time, it could very well be vital for Ubers future.