Former Uber boss Travis Kalanick officially a billionaire

Uber app mobile phone London Nov. 10 2017

Other investors in a SoftBank-led consortium, including Dragoneer Investment Group, purchased about another 5% of Uber. These secondary stock sales will be completed by the end of the day Thursday on the Nasdaq Private Market, an Uber spokesman said.

Uber has said the deal, which was expected to close this month, would value the company at about $48 billion, a haircut from its previous valuation of almost $70 billion. Kalanick was ousted from Uber in June and former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took over in August.

"This is a great outcome for our shareholders, employees and customers, strengthening Uber's governance as we double down on our technology investments and continue to bring our services to more people in more places around the world", said the Uber spokesman.

Uber could soon be pulling out of some worldwide markets, including 15 African cities, if its new majority shareholder has its way.

Another major change: No board members will keep super-voting rights for preferred shares (which granted 10 votes for each share, sources tell us). Two of those directors have reportedly already been appointed: Rajeev Misra, CEO of SoftBank's $98 billion Vision Fund for tech investment, and Marcelo Claure, a member of SoftBank's board of directors who is also president and CEO of Sprint.

On the other hand, the finalising of this massive deal will see Mr Kalanick's powers reduced.

SoftBank's investment will spur Uber to overhaul its corporate governance.

SoftBank is an investor in Didi Chuxing, the majority owner of Uber's China operations, and has backed Grab, a ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia, as well as India's Ola.

In a candid interview with the Financial Times, Misra suggested that the company should refocus on its core markets to cut losses.

SoftBank had no trouble drumming up interest among shareholders, as many investors and employees were unable to sell as many shares as they would have liked because SoftBank had put limits on how much it would buy. The move follows reports Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick was preparing to sell around 29 percent of his 10 percent stake in Uber for around Euro 1.4 billion.

He only sold off 29% of his shares though, meaning he still has a stake worth over US$3bn in the company he helped to found back in the late noughties.

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