Uber is selling as much as 20% of the company to SoftBank at a huge discount from its $69 billion valuation

Dara Khosrowshahi smileGetty

  • Employees and shareholders have agreed to sell as much as 20% of Uber to SoftBank.
  • SoftBank will buy the shares at a 30% discount.
  • SoftBank may also invest $1 billion in Uber at the company's original $69 billion valuation.


SoftBank is buying as much of 20% of Uber shares at a whopping 30% discount, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The car-ride company was last privately valued at $69 billion, but SoftBank is offering to buy shares from investors and employees at a price that places the company's value at $48 billion, the company confirmed to Business Insider.

"SoftBank offered to purchase shares from existing investors at an implied valuation of around $48 billion. As part of the overall transaction, were the tender offer to be successful, they will also invest purchase at least $1 billion of shares at our last round's valuation of approximately $69 billion," an Uber spokesman told Business Insider in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber employees and investors are offering up as much as 20% of the company for sale, even at SoftBank's discounted price. However, the report indicates that SoftBank may only choose to buy up enough to gain a 15% stake in the company. Also, employees could choose not to sell before SoftBank's offer expires at noon Pacific Time on Thursday.

With Uber's initial public offering not expected to come before 2019, many early Uber investors are eager to cash in some of their shares in what has become the world's most valuable privately held tech startup. However, as Recode recently reported, there was some discontent among Uber investors as to whether or not SoftBank's price was too low.

The investment would mark the latest massive investment by SoftBank's $93 billion Vision Fund.

It had been previously reported that any investment from SoftBank would also entail reforms to how Uber is governed and run - a hot-button issue after a year that saw a crisis of management at Uber that eventually led to the resignation of cofounder and CEO Travis Kalanick. It's not immediately clear if those reforms will be put in place following this deal.

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