Uber approves Softbank's multi-billion dollar investment


In addition to the direct purchase of $1bn Uber shares, Softbank also wants to buy out other investors' shares up to a total of $9bn, according to financial newswire Bloomberg. The initial price for the tender offer may not be set for more than a week, a person familiar with the matter said.

The long-awaited deal was made public in October but was delayed by a corporate governance and legal dispute between investor Benchmark Capital and ousted CEO Travis Kalanick.

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The group led by SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group is also planning to invest a much larger amount by buying up to $9 billion in Uber shares. Both sides ended their feud on Sunday, clearing the way for the SoftBank investment.

"We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber's long-term potential", it said. Kalanick is agreeing to give Uber's board majority approval over the board seats he controls should he ever need to fill them again. Benchmark had alleged that Kalanick duped investors into allowing him to create three disputed board seats that it later wanted to delete, which action would dump Kalanick out of Uber altogether. Uber investor Benchmark agreed to drop its fraud lawsuit against Kalanick if the Softbank deal goes through. The deal could still fall through if there aren't enough interested sellers.

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The Japanese group, founded by billionaire Masayoshi Son, expressed an interest several months ago in investing around $1 billion in Uber for a stake of at least 14 percent.

If completed, Uber plans to use the funds to expand its business further as well as boosting its investments in technology and strengthening its corporate governance.

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SoftBank is sending tremors through the tech world with its massive new Vision Fund, a venture capital fund intended for startups and expected to dominate the industry before long.