Uber's shares change hands with SoftBank to be its largest shareholder

Some of Uber's largest shareholders have agreed to sell their stake of Uber at a steep discount to SoftBank Group.

SoftBank Group with a consortium of investors won the bid to acquire 17.5 percent of Uber Technology at a steep discount, becoming the largest sole shareholder of Uber.

The tender offer -- an open call to buy shares from every shareholder of a publicly traded company for a certain price at a certain time -- by SoftBank and its co-investors are slated to own 17.5 percent of Uber at a price of about US$33 per share.

This price put the value of Uber at about US$48 billion, presenting a sharp drop from its near US$70 billion valuation last year.

"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," an Uber spokesman said in a statement.

Once the deal is successfully completed, SoftBank will own 15 percent of Uber’s shares, while its co-investors will get a stake of near 3 percent.

As part of the transaction, the consortium led by SoftBank will also pay Uber US$1.25 billion for new shares at the existing valuation of US$67.5 billion, which is planned to be closed in January 2018, according to SoftBank.

"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," said Rajeev Misra, chief executive of SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Also, SoftBank will occupy two seats on Uber’s board and will have great influence on their decisions as the largest sole shareholder of Uber.

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