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


In a senior level departure from ride-hailing firm Uber, Shweta Rajpal Kohli, Head of Public Policy for India and South Asia has resigned from the company.

"If conditions on share price and a minimum of shares are not satisfactory for the SoftBank Group side, there is a possibility the SoftBank Group may not make an investment", the statement added.

In the deal reached on Sunday, the reports said SoftBank will buy $1 billion in new stock valued at Uber's current valuation of $68.5 billion, but the Softbank consortium will build the majority of its stake in Uber by purchasing current Uber shares from investors to reach the 14 percent mark.

The statement was issued after Uber said that the company had entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential multibillion-dollar investment.

Uber Technologies has made a decision to accept the investment proposal led by Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank to pick up majority stake, bringing months-long negotiations to a close, according to latest news reports.

SoftBank is to buy the existing Uber shares in a process called a tender offer, which takes at least a month to complete.

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.

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Shweta's resignation comes almost a month after Uber's European policy chief quit to join the join electric vehicle charging network company Chargepoint.

SoftBank Investment Advisors and SoftBank Group Corp board director, Rajeev Misra emphasised that "by no means is our investment decided".

A spokeswoman for Benchmark did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment, while a spokesman for Kalanick declined to comment.

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.

In October, Uber's board made sweeping reforms within the company proposed by new Uber CEO Khosrowshahi and Goldman Sachs, which set the SoftBank deal and the 2019 IPO plans in motion.

Uber has suffered a tumultuous few months which has seen former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick forced out after a series of boardroom controversies and other regulatory battles in multiple US states and around the world.

"Uber had a remarkable first six or seven years, a bumpy past two years, and now the SoftBank deal allows for a full reset", Bradley Tusk, an Uber investor and political strategist who works with tech companies, told Reuters.