Softbank-led consortium clinches major stake in Uber

A consortium led by Japan's Softbank has secured a 17.5% stake in ride sharing firm Uber for around 9 billion US dollars (£6.7 billion).

Softbank is expected to pay around 7.7 billion US dollars (£5.7 billion) in order to take a 15% shareholding in Uber, while the remaining investors - which reportedly include Dragoneer, Tencent, TPG and Sequoia - will shell out 1 billion US dollars (£740 million) for 2.5%.

The transaction is believed to value Uber at around 48 billion US dollars (£36 billion).

Uber is looking to complete the deal in early 2018.

"We look forward to working with the purchasers to close the overall transaction, which we expect to support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance," Uber said.

Once completed, Uber's board will expand from 11 to 17 members after taking on two Softbank members, adding three new independent seats as well as one independent chairperson.


Uber confirmed in mid-November that it was entering an agreement with the investor group, saying it would help fuel technology investments and further expansion.

It is also set to pave the way for the company's much-awaited stock market flotation.

There will be a resolution on taking the company public in 2019, contingent on the closing of the Softbank consortium deal.

Softbank chief executive Rajeev Misra said: "We have tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees and are excited to support Uber as it continues to reinvent how people and goods are transported around the world."

The news comes as the ride-hailing firm battles increased competition in the US, where rival Lyft has recently gained backing from Google which is interested in promoting its self-driving technology, and has been squeezed in Russia by local competitor Yandex.

In the UK, Uber is fighting to keep its service running in London.

Transport for London (TfL) stripped the ride-hailing firm of its licence in September, raising concerns over Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how drivers' medical certificates are obtained, how criminal record checks are carried out, and its use of technology which allegedly helps it to evade law enforcement officials.

Uber's appeal against TfL's decision not to renew its licence will be heard in the spring.

York has since followed London by refusing to renew Uber's licence to operate in the city. It was due to expire on Christmas Eve.