SoftBank may not invest in Uber if deal not sweet enough

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SoftBank has said its investment deal with cab-hailing app Uber is yet to be decided and will depend on the tender price and a minimum percentage shareholding offered to the Japanese conglomerate.

SoftBank and Dragoneer are leading a consortium that plans to invest $1 billion to $1.25 billion in Uber, the most highly valued venture-backed company in the world, along with a purchase of up to 17 per cent of existing shares in a secondary transaction. "However, while the SoftBank Group side is considering an investment in Uber, there is no final agreement at this stage", SoftBank said.

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.

Uber argued that once in the bag, the investment would help fuel its development in the tech sector and its continued expansion at home and overseas, "while strengthening our corporate governance".

Uber's [UBER.UL] chief of policy for India and South Asia has quit, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, in the latest high-level departure at the online taxi company.

SoftBank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Uber will reportedly enact corporate governance changes that its board approved last month.

After a long negotiation with Uber, SoftBank agreed to buy shares at a single price as long as sellers were barred from working together to push up the price.

The Benchmark-Kalanick lawsuit is almost dead, but this isn't a clear victory for Uber's ex-CEO.

Then Kalanick threw a wrench in the deal, insisting that Benchmark put a hold on its lawsuit against him before he would approve it.

Completing the SoftBank deal would allow Uber to open a new chapter after a year of controversy, including the resignation of Kalanick, the ouster of several top executives, sexual harassment and discrimination allegations, and multiple federal criminal probes. If the new deal is closed, the SoftBank-led consortium will own about 14 percent stake in the ride-sharing pioneer, now valued at around US$68 billion.

SoftBank shares were down 0.75 percent on the news with Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Centre, saying that investors were underwhelmed with the news.

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