Softbank makes discounted bid to buy Uber

Uber app.
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Japan’s Softbank has reportedly made a heavily discounted bid to buy Uber shares at a valuation of $48bn (£36bn).

If the deal goes ahead, Softbank would acquire the stock for nearly 30% less than Uber’s most recent valuation of $69bn in June 2016.

The Japanese conglomerate is leading a consortium of firms that is planning to buy at least 14% of the ride-sharing firm.

Neither Uber or Softbank would make any comment on the reports to the BBC.

Reports of its offer come nearly two months after the world’s most valuable start up approved a huge investment by Softbank.

And while the size of the potential investment has not been disclosed, earlier this month Uber said the money would fuel its expansion and investments in technology.

It would pave the way for a share listing by 2019 and transform the company’s corporate structure.

Stability

As part of the deal, the board would be expanded from 11 to 17 directors, with Softbank’s investor group taking up two of the new board seats, according to the Reuters news agency.

It would also reduce the influence of former chief executive, Travis Kalanick, who was ousted in June.

The shake-up could help bring stability to Uber after a difficult year.

Uber is also being sued in California and Chicago over a massive data breach in 2016 that affected 57 million customers and drivers.

The firm said last week that it paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data and initially hid the breach from drivers, riders and regulators.

Executives of the firm have reportedly been travelling the globe to reassure regulators, after the revelation sparked investigations in at least five countries including Britain, the US and Australia.

“We are committed to changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make, and working hard to regain the trust of consumers,” Uber said in a statement.

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