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Softbank to Take Large Stake in Uber

Softbank to Take Large Stake in Uber

Japanese giant Softbank is set to take a large stake in Uber, expanding its holdings in transportation companies around the world, the BBC reports.

Softbank led a consortium that reportedly agreed to invest at least $8bn for a roughly 15% stake in the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company.

The group will buy most of the shares from early investors in a deal that values Uber at about $48bn (£35.7bn).

Uber said the investment would fuel its expansion and technology investments.

The deal, which includes additional investment, is expected to be closed in early 2018.

Uber said: "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."

As part of the deal, Uber's board will expand from 11 to 17 directors, with Softbank's investor group taking two of the new seats.

The shake-up was supported by Uber's new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who has said he hopes to list Uber's shares publicly in 2019.

The change is expected to reduce the influence of former chief executive Travis Kalanick, who was ousted from the top role in June but remains a board member.

The moves come as Uber concludes a difficult year, in which it faced a sexual harassment scandal, investigations by regulators and a lawsuit over allegedly stolen technology, among other challenges. It also continues to experience steep losses.

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