"We've entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment", an Uber spokesman said. SoftBank, a well-connected Japanese technology company, could help Uber strike deals with competitors in India or Southeast Asia.
Uber Technologies has made a decision to accept the investment proposal led by Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank to pick up majority stake, bringing months-long negotiations to a close, according to latest news reports.
The investment by the technology conglomerate could be announced Sunday, says the person, who didn't want to be identified because it hasn't been finalized.
The Uber board first agreed more than a month ago to bring in SoftBank as an investor and board member, but negotiations have been slowed by ongoing fighting between Benchmark and Kalanick.
Uber has entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer to explore a potential investment that some reports suggest could be worth of up to Dollars 10 billion.
SoftBank is to buy the existing Uber shares in a process called a tender offer, which takes at least a month to complete.
While Uber has become a global phenomenon operating in more than 600 cities and dozens of countries, it is trying to move past a series of scandals and missteps that have included executive misconduct, a toxic work atmosphere and potentially unethical competitive practices. SoftBank is a major investor in Ola and Grab, Uber's rivals in those regions. They include removing super-voting rights that gave Kalanick and his allies outsized power, adding new independent directors and increasing the size of the board to 17. Those changes are contingent on the SoftBank investing in Uber. If Uber is hesitant to sell and SoftBank does not get 14% of ownership, Softbank can cut off the deal. A board majority would have to approve any appointments by Kalanick, who controls three seats.
Meanwhile, SoftBank has been diversifying through investment for several years, and has ventured into sectors outside its core mobile technology business - completing deals with the likes of French robotics firm Aldebaran and e-commerce with Chinese giant Alibaba (Berlin: AHLA.BE - news). In addition to his own seat, Kalanick controls two more, which are occupied by Ursula Brown, the former Xerox Corp CEO, and former Merrill Lynch & Co Inc CEO John Thain.
Uber's use of software aimed at thwarting rivals like Lyft has also hurt its image, and could create further legal woes.