SoftBank reportedly buys major stake in Uber at a big discount

A taxi is reflected in a window at the office of taxi-hailing service Uber Inc in Hong Kong China

A taxi is reflected in a window at the office of taxi-hailing service Uber Inc in Hong Kong China

SoftBank has access to all kinds of technology that could be relevant to Uber's self-driving vehicle plans via its other investments, and with its help, Uber will be better positioned to expand into Asia. And in a maneuver to prop up Uber's value, SoftBank will also purchase up to $1.25 billion worth of new shares at the existing valuation of $67.5 billion. Other members of SoftBank's bidding group are likely to buy part of the remaining shares on offer, the people said.

A former employee's charges of endemic sexual harassment led to an internal review, London has said it is stripping Uber of its license and recently Uber announced it had covered up a major hack. Its Softbank Vision Fund is a almost $100 billion investment fund snapping up stakes in emerging technology companies around the world, with roughly half the money targeted for investments in the U.S.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a Japanese investor group is now buying up a large stake of Uber - and getting it at a sharp discount, too. The deadline for tender offers was 8pm (GMT). Benchmark is expected to drop its lawsuit against Uber founder Travis Kalanick, and the two board seats that SoftBank wield should help bring stability to the decision-making process, which in turn should allow new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to focus on losing less money. Employees and investors allegedly tendered shares representing 20% of the company.

The tender offer values Uber at $48bn (£36bn), nearly a third lower than its most recent valuation of $69bn. The move drops Uber's value by about 30 percent from around $70 billion to $48 billion - a reflection of the trouble that the ride-hailing company has experienced across 2017.

Rajeev Misra, chief executive of SoftBank's Vision Fund, a tech investment vehicle, will be nominated to the Uber board, the Journal reported.

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