SoftBank Succeeds in Tender Offer for Large Stake in Uber

A taxi is reflected in a window at the office of taxi-hailing service Uber Inc in Hong Kong China

The Japanese conglomerate set a threshold for its bid at 14 percent and while it's now able to purchase almost 50 percent more than it originally planned, it's reportedly limiting its offer to a 15 percent stake.

The group will buy most of the shares from early investors in a deal that values Uber at about $48bn (£35.7bn). The company still faces numerous legal challenges, including a massive trade secrets lawsuit with Alphabet's self-driving vehicle unit Waymo and multiple government investigations into potentially illegal business practices.

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

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.

As part of the deal, Uber's board will expand from 11 to 17 directors, with Softbank's investor group taking two of the new seats.

The change is expected to reduce the influence of former chief executive Travis Kalanick, who was ousted from the top role in June but remains a board member.

SoftBank has bought a major stake in Uber at a steep 30pc discount, after a chaotic year in which the ride-hailing firm faced a string of scandals, saw its chief executive resign and was hit with United Kingdom city bans. It also continues to experience steep losses. Nothing malicious has happened partly because Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to destroy the stolen information, CBS News confirmed last month.

The Softbank-led consortium aimed to buy at least 14% through an offer to buy shares from employees and early investors.

The deal nevertheless sharply discounts Uber's value, which a year ago was estimated at nearly $70 billion.

Uber now has a powerful strategic partner in SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant that is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in technology.

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