SoftBank starts acquisition of significant stake in Uber

Wednesday, 29 Nov, 2017

The ride-hailing company's net revenue was $2 billion, up 14 percent sequentially.

Uber is now facing increased regulatory scrutiny across the world and various legal problems.

Venture capital firms Benchmark, which owns 13 percent of Uber worth $9 billion (roughly Rs. 57,940 crores), and Menlo Ventures, another large shareholder, have indicated that they would sell a portion of the shares, according to a SoftBank spokesperson.

With Uber being a private business, it does not need to disclose its earnings in public.

A consortium led by SoftBank Group Corp on Tuesday launched its tender offer for shares of Uber Technologies and the Japanese company said that some notable early Uber investors planned to sell stock. These are shares from existing shareholders, sold at a price that values Uber at $48 billion-30% less than its previous private valuation of almost $70 billion. But sources tell us they might not be willing to sell at SoftBank's desired share price and that the group of investors may have to offer more.

Details with regards to the exact amount that both firms are prepared to sell has so far not been made clear.

The SoftBank investment would be a sign of support from an influential investor as the ride-services company struggles with several scandals ranging from sexual harassment allegations to federal criminal probes. The entire tender process is supposed to conclude by late February. The net loss in the second quarter was $1.06 billion.

Investors have to buy at least 13.4 percent of Uber's shares from existing shareholders for the deal to close.

SoftBank has also the option to withdraw from the transaction if there are not enough sellers. Primack says most of this investment will go to early shareholders.

If the secondary gets done, SoftBank will also be making a $1 billion direct investment in Uber at its last private valuation of almost $70 billion.

Uber has given its shareholders an update on the company's performance and it's definitely in the red.