Date
19 October 2017
Uber is pursuing board reforms as it seeks to shore up its reputation following a series of scandals. Photo: Bloomberg
Uber is pursuing board reforms as it seeks to shore up its reputation following a series of scandals. Photo: Bloomberg

Uber board votes to pursue SoftBank deal, governance changes

Uber Technologies directors voted in favor of a stock deal with Japan’s SoftBank Group and also approved a series of governance changes that would boost the independence of the board and reduce the influence of former chief executive Travis Kalanick, Reuters reports.

At a meeting Tuesday, the board agreed to move forward with a deal that will allow SoftBank to invest in the ride services company, the report said.

The directors also decided to pursue governance changes at Uber “that would strengthen its independence and ensure equality among all shareholders,” it said, citing a company statement.

The moves came as Uber is seeking to shore up its reputation after a series of scandals and to move beyond a battle between Kalanick and Uber investors spearheaded by Benchmark Capital.

According to a Reuters source, a group of investors including SoftBank and General Atlantic would be allowed to buy up to US$1.25 billion of new Uber shares at a company valuation of US$69 billion and 14 to 17 percent of stock from current investors at a discounted valuation.

Meanwhile, proposed governance changes include expanding the size of the board to 17 directors from 11.

The board would include three independent directors, an independent chairperson and two seats controlled by SoftBank once its investment closes.

Shareholders will now have one vote per share, ending a class of supervoting shares in a move that substantially decreases the power of Kalanick and some other early investors, the report said.

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RC

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