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SoftBank aims to bag an Uber bargain with 30 percent discount offer

SoftBank appears to be aiming to secure an influential stake Uber, making a discounted offer that would value to famous startup at just $48 billion.

By Tom Ball

SoftBank has offered to buy shares in Uber at a 30 per cent discount, potentially looking to secure a significant stake in the globally famous business.

Putting the discount in perspective, the offer would value the company at $48 billion, a shadow of the last valuation of the company that came close $70 billion.

The Japanese behemoth is leading a group of other organisations in joint pursuit of the Uber stake, with the goal of gaining control of a 14 per cent of the company. If the consortium can reach this mark, a tender offer will be initiated.

SoftBank aims to bag an Uber bargain with 30 percent discount offer

SoftBank has already had dealings with Uber, with the startup having agreed to a major investment in recent months, hoping to gain an injection to fuel its progress.

In the event of SoftBank securing the significant stake in Uber, major changes have been lined up, particular at the top of the organisation.

A main requirement would be that the ex-Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, would be allowed less of a say in the movements of the organisation. Plans have also been outlined for the board to grow significantly, with 11 positions growing to 17.

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SoftBank may struggle to get current shareholders to sell at the dramatically reduced price, but Uber’s value is facing significant damage following recent events.

The famous startup was found to have been hit by a major data breach in which 57 million sets of customer and driver data was stolen. This was not the most concerning factor, however, as executives during 2016 attempted to pay off the hackers so the data could be deleted, preventing the incident coming to the attention of the public.

This may prove to be the most indelible black mark that the company has so far earned, with the incoming GDPR regulation casting a particularly long and dark shadow over the reprehensible activity.

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