Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick is reportedly planning to sell a third of his shares in the ride-services company for about $1.4 Bn, as per a person familiar with the matter. Bloomberg reported that Kalanick’s sale is part of a tender offer by SoftBank Group, which is acquiring a 17.5% stake in Uber, mostly by buying shares from early investors and employees.
SoftBank last week secured agreements from shareholders who were willing to sell, and the deal will close early this year. The shares purchased by SoftBank from existing shareholders will value the company at approximately $48 Bn, a significant drop from the roughly $69 Bn at which Uber was valued at in its last funding round. As part of the deal, the group will also be investing $1.25 Bn directly in Uber at the $69 Bn value.
Travis Kalanick, who resigned as CEO in June after a year full of scandals that started with Susan Fowler’s revelations of its sexist culture, remains on Uber’s board of directors, and currently owns about 10% of the cab aggregator.
Read here the complete list of scandals which Uber has been embroiled in 2017.
Bloomberg’s sources say he originally wanted to offer up to half of his Uber stake, but couldn’t because of limits in the tender offer agreement. He will just sell 29% while other investors also did not get to unload as many shares as they had hoped to.
While Kalanick will still remain on the board of directors of Uber, SoftBank’s deal with Uber will reportedly reduce Kalanick’s power, including blocking him from being appointed chairman of its board in the future. The go-ahead for the funding came after Uber’s Board of Directors unanimously passed a series of structural and administrative changes geared towards further diminishing the power of Travis Kalanick.
Uber early investor Benchmark Capital, which sued Kalanick over his power to appoint board seats, will also drop the lawsuit once SoftBank’s investment is completed. However, the only saving grace for founder Travis Kalanick is that he would become an actual billionaire for the first time as a result of the sale in Uber, which he co-founded in August 2008 along with Garrett Camp.