Uber has approved an investment deal, believed to be worth $10 billion, with the Japanese conglomerate Softbank, which will allow it to introduce corporate governance reforms, draw a line under a disastrous string of events in 2017 and pave the way for it to go public. 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.
In addition to the direct purchase of $1bn Uber shares, Softbank also wants to buy out other investors' shares up to a total of $9bn, according to financial newswire Bloomberg.
SoftBank, which owns shares in other ride-hailing companies outside the United States, will receive two seats on Uber's board once the offer is complete, according to the New York Times.
"We've entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment", Uber said in a statement Sunday.
The stakes are high for Uber.
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As part of the agreement, Kalanick has agreed that he can not fill the three board seats he controls in the future without majority approval by the board, according to two people familiar with the matter. Son has spearheaded the new round of investment in Uber. Benchmark has agreed to drop the lawsuit it filed in August against Kalanick, an effort to diminish his power at the company, entirely upon the successful completion of the investment.
Although Kalanick quit as Uber chief exec, he remains on the board, having previously created the seat he now occupies.
"Upon closing, it will help fuel our investments in technology and our continued expansion at home and overseas, while strengthening our corporate governance", Uber said of the deal in its statement.
Kalanick resigned from his position as CEO following months of scandals and shareholder pressure, as well as the death of his mother in a boating accident.
SoftBank has previously pumped billions into several ride-hailing companies overseas, including Didi in China, Grab in Southeast Asia and 99 in Brazil.