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Uber completes sale of US$9.3b in stock led by SoftBank

Uber completes sale of US$9.3b in stock led by SoftBank

"We're proud to have SoftBank, Dragoneer and the entire consortium in the Uber family".

SoftBank invested an additional $1.25 billion at a valuation of about $70 billion, according to reporting from Bloomberg Technology. It signals a turning point for the expansive if somewhat beleaguered company as its new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, moves the organization away from its rough-and-tumble and legally dubious past.

A new $8 billion investment by a consortium led by SoftBank, the Japanese tech giant, has seen the group acquire 17.5% stake in Uber.

Uber could soon be pulling out of some global markets, including 15 African cities, if its new majority shareholder has its way. "This is a great outcome for our shareholders, employees and customers", said Uber in a statement.

Those reforms include removing Kalanick's super-voting rights on the board, increasing the company's board size to 17, and adding new independent directors to the board. As for executives, Softbank intents to name one of its executives, Rajeev Misra, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure to the board, said a source familiar with the matter.

With the SoftBank deal closed, a host of governance changes will go into effect at Uber, including Benchmark's agreeing to drop a lawsuit against Kalanick over his control of two board seats.

But Kalanick still gets a lot of benefits from this deal.

SoftBank's investment will spur Uber to overhaul its corporate governance.

The transaction with Uber is definitely a new forward for the ride hailing service after having a shaky year. Such a change could help Uber achieve profitability more quickly, but could also signal a retreat from some of the biggest transportation markets.

SoftBank is an investor in Didi Chuxing, the majority owner of Uber's China operations, and has backed Grab, a ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia, as well as India's Ola.

The Financial Times first reported Mr Misra's comments earlier Thursday. The move follows reports Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick was preparing to sell around 29 percent of his 10 percent stake in Uber for around Euro 1.4 billion.

SoftBank had no trouble drumming up interest among shareholders, as many investors and employees were unable to sell as many shares as they would have liked because SoftBank had put limits on how much it would buy. He had offered to sell half of his shares.

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