Japan's SoftBank may secure stake in Uber


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", Softbank added.

The statement came after Uber said it had entered an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and investment group Dragoneer on what it termed a "potential investment".

Under the agreement, SoftBank and its investors will buy at least 14 percent of Uber through a mix of newly created and existing stocks, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

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. He still has a seat on the company's board.

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

"Upon closing, it will help fuel our investments in technology and our continued expansion at home and overseas, while strengthening our corporate governance", Uber said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Benchmark will suspend a lawsuit against Kalanick, and drop it once the tender offer is completed.

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

But the deal was threatened by conflict between Mr Kalanick and U.S. venture capital firm Benchmark.

As part of the deal, Uber's board agreed to governance changes, including measures that reduce the influence that Mr Travis Kalanick, Uber's former chief executive, has at the firm.

A deal would be positive for Uber, which is seeking to turn the page after recent repeated scandals, among them workplace sexual harassment allegations.

The Softbank-led consortium's investment in Uber could be worth up to $10 billion, Reuters reported, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter.