UPDATE 1-Uber board strikes agreement to pave way for SoftBank investment

From Reuters - November 12, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Incs [UBER.UL] warring board members have struck a peace deal that would allow a multibillion-dollar investment by SoftBank Group Corp to proceed, and would resolve a legal battle between former Chief Executive Travis Kalanick and a prominent shareholder.

Venture capital firm Benchmark, an early investor with a board seat in the ride-services company, and Kalanick have reached an agreement over terms of the SoftBank investment, which could be worth up to $10 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter. The Uber board first agreed more than a month ago to bring in SoftBank as an investor and board member, but negotiations have been slowed by ongoing fighting between Benchmark and Kalanick.

SoftBank is leading a consortium of investors that plan to invest $1 billion to $1.25 billion and buy up to 17 percent of existing shares from investors and employees in a secondary transaction. The terms are expected to be signed on Sunday, one of the people said.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Uber is valued at $68 billion, the most highly valued venture-backed company in the world. The SoftBank investment is expected to be at the same valuation, so the company would not suffer any valuation cut, despite its year of cultural turmoil and legal problems.

Completing the SoftBank deal would allow Uber to open a new chapter after a year of controversy, including the resignation of Kalanick, the ouster of several top executives, sexual harassment and discrimination allegations, and multiple federal criminal probes. The deal is also tied to new governance rules that aim to more equally distribute power and bring more oversight to the company.

Also it would be a major victory for Ubers new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who served as a mediator to help broker the agreement, according to a third person familiar with the matter.


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