Uber board battle ends, stage set for SoftBank-led $10-bn investment

The ride-hailing startup said that it has reached an agreement for what could be a massive investment from SoftBank the Japanese conglomerate after months of speculation about a possible deal

SoftBank to invest $10 billion in Uber

Cab hailing platform, Uber, could be on the brink of receiving a major investment from Japanese internet group, Softbank.

Over the weekend, Uber had confirmed that it has closed an investment deal with Softbank Group and Dragoneer Investment group.

"We've entered into an agreement with the consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer [of San Francisco] on a potential investment, a statement from Uber said".

Discussions between Softbank and Uber will now revolve around proposed price at which the former will buy stock and number of shares to be purchased.

Shweta Rajpal Kohli, a former Indian journalist who joined Uber a year ago, would join cloud-based software maker Salesforce.com Inc next month, the sources told Reuters.

But the Japanese firm voiced caution, saying: "While the SoftBank Group side is considering an investment in Uber, there is no final agreement at this stage".

Uber had said funds from SoftBank, subject to the closure of the deal, would help the US-based startup fuel investments in technology and expansion in its home market as well as other countries.

Venture capital firm Benchmark, an early investor with a board seat in Uber, and Kalanick have reached an agreement over terms of the SoftBank investment, which could be worth up to $10 billion.

Currently Uber's largest shareholder is U.S. venture capital firm Benchmark with a 13 percent stake and founder Travis Kalanick who has a 10 percent stake.

The Benchmark-Kalanick lawsuit is almost dead, but this isn't a clear victory for Uber's ex-CEO.

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.

SoftBank shares were down 0.75 percent on the news with Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Centre, saying that investors were underwhelmed with the news. In addition to his own seat, Kalanick controls two more, which are occupied by Ursula Burns, the former Xerox Corp CEO, and former Merrill Lynch & CO Inc CEO John Thain.

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