Uber reaches deal to sell significant stake to SoftBank

NATION-NOW     Uber nears deal for huge Soft Bank investment     
       Uber nears deal for huge Soft Bank investment

The SoftBank deal is critical for Uber because it will trigger significant governance reforms, which include moving to one vote per share and expanding the board size to 17. "However, while the SoftBank Group side is considering an investment in Uber, there is no final agreement at this stage", SoftBank said.

According to the Associated Press report, Softbank is looking at 14% stake in Uber against investment worth around $1 billion.

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.

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.

A spokeswoman for Benchmark did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment, while a spokesman for Kalanick declined to comment. During that process, a price will be set for the existing Uber shares.

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The company was temporarily banned in New Delhi after one of the drivers on its platform allegedly raped a woman passenger in 2014.

The latter filed a lawsuit against Mr Kalanick, accusing him of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as CEO following his resignation in June.

Then Kalanick threw a wrench in the deal, insisting that Benchmark put a hold on its lawsuit against him before he would approve it.

A deal would be positive for Uber, which is seeking to turn the page after recent repeated scandals, among them workplace sexual harassment allegations. If the new deal is closed, the SoftBank-led consortium will own about 14 percent stake in the ride-sharing pioneer, now valued at around US$68 billion.

The Japanese tech and telecoms firm has become a prolific investor in ride sharing firms such China's Didi and India's Ola as it works to achieve SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son's vision of a future driven by artifical intelligence and interconnected devices. 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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