LAGUNA BEACH, CA – SoftBank’s multi-billion-dollar investment in Uber will be finalized “very likely in the next week,” Uber board member Arianna Huffington said at the WSJD conference Monday.
Uber’s board voted earlier this month to approve the Japanese tech conglomerate’s investment, which would add six more board seats, include a commitment to go public by 2019, and annul super-voting shares held by ousted ex-CEO Travis Kalanick and other longtime insiders.
Through its $93 billion Vision Fund, SoftBank plans to acquire a 14% to 20% stake in the world’s most valuable privately-held tech startup, Huffington said Monday. The deal would include a direct investment in the company as well as a secondary buyout of existing shareholders, she said.
Uber’s lofty valuation, which has been pegged at around $69 billion pre-money, appears to be the final detail holding back the cash infusion.
“We are waiting at the moment on what is going to transpire with the price,” Huffington said Monday. “It’s all about the price.”
She implied that receiving an investment from SoftBank specifically, the “hundred-billion-dollar gorilla in the ride-hailing industry,” was a strategic move to assure Uber’s long-term success.
“Expect to see some consolidation” in the global ride-hailing industry, she said.