SoftBank To Make Massive Uber Investment: Will This Solve The Ride-Hailing Company's Problems?
Uber has approved the offer of SoftBank Group to make a massive investment into the ride-hailing company, in a deal that could be worth as much as $10 billion.
SoftBank's investment in Uber is one of the largest private startup deals in history and could be exactly what Uber needs to turn around its controversial past.
Here's What The Uber-SoftBank Deal Looks Like
A consortium, led by SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group, will invest $1 billion directly into Uber. The consortium will then invest up to $9 billion more through a tender offer that will look to purchase Uber shares from existing investors.
If SoftBank and its partners are not able to generate enough interest in their offer, which will look to buy Uber shares at a lower valuation, the deal could be terminated. However, if the investments push through, SoftBank could be looking at an at least 14 percent stake in Uber.
The tender offer is expected to start on Nov. 28 and last for 20 business days, in what is expected to be the largest secondary transaction ever. If everything goes well, investors will be selling billions of dollars' worth of Uber shares to SoftBank.
The Uber board of directors, in early October, voted to implement a wave of governance changes that will overhaul the company's structure of power and open the path for SoftBank's proposal. However, it took several more weeks to negotiate the terms of the multibillion-dollar investment.
Will SoftBank Save Uber?
Uber has been neck-deep in controversy over the past several months, including the ongoing legal battle against Google parent Alphabet's Waymo self-driving technology unit, the end of the ride-hailing service's run in London, and reports that its app took iPhone screenshots and spied on drivers for rival company Lyft.
Ironically, SoftBank, the Japanese multinational corporation that purchased Sprint in 2013, also has investments in Lyft and other ride-hailing companies in Asia such as Didi Chuxing, Ola, and Grab. SoftBank will now have stakes in the biggest ride-hailing companies across Asia and the West.
Uber, on the other hand, would receive fresh funding for its ongoing expansion and to support its costly operations as it faces off against its rivals in the space.
Most importantly, however, the SoftBank investment may help in solving Uber's problems. The investment requires investor Benchmark Capital to cease its lawsuit against former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, which would already be one less matter to deal with for the company.
Uber's newfound connection with SoftBank and its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will now hopefully lead the company into a scandal-less future.