SoftBank buys Uber shares at 30pc discount as investors cash out

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The company still faces numerous legal challenges, including a massive trade secrets lawsuit with Alphabet's self-driving auto unit Waymo and multiple government investigations into potentially illegal business practices.

The completion of the deal is the first significant achievement for Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over in August after an ugly year at the company defined by sexual harassment and discrimination allegations, executive misbehavior, lawsuits, and plenty of finger-pointing within the company's board room. The deal is good news for SoftBank, which has been trying to get a stake in Uber for years, and good news for the ride-sharing company, which should see an immediate influx of much-needed cash.

SoftBank has bought a major stake in Uber at a steep 30pc discount, after a chaotic year in which the ride-hailing firm faced a string of scandals, saw its chief executive resign and was hit with United Kingdom city bans.

In November, Uber also came clean about its coverup of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of its customers and drivers.

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The tender offer values Uber at $48bn (£36bn), nearly a third lower than its most recent valuation of $69bn. The sellers of Uber shares haven't been disclosed, but some Uber employees are rumored to be among those selling, along with investors Benchmark and Menlo Ventures.

Once approved, the transaction will value the company at $48 billion.

SoftBank is scooping up a large chunk of Uber's shares after it opened a tender offer, reports the Wall Street Journal. Most notably, the board of directors will be expanded from 11 seats to 17, up three of which are set to go to the Japanese telecommunications giant. Softbank will limit its stake to 15 percent, valuing Uber at a 30 percent discount of its most recent valuation of almost $70 billion.

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