Uber now has a powerful strategic partner in SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant that is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in technology. The Japanese conglomerate set a threshold for its bid at 14 percent and while it's now able to purchase almost 50 percent more than it originally planned, it's reportedly limiting its offer to a 15 percent stake. It marks the first significant piece of business for new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who is now preparing the embattled ride-hailing company to go public by 2019. Uber lost $1.46 billion in the third quarter this year, up from $1.06 billion in the previous quarter.
Uber investors and employees tendered shares equal to 20 percent of the company.
The deal nevertheless sharply discounts Uber's value, which a year ago was estimated at nearly $70 billion. Earlier reports have indicated that Dragoneer Investment Group and existing Uber backer General Atlantic may be among the interested parties. The move drops Uber's value by about 30 percent from around $70 billion to $48 billion - a reflection of the trouble that the ride-hailing company has experienced across 2017.
"We look forward to working with the purchasers to close the overall transaction", the Uber spokesperson said.
"We have tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees and are excited to support Uber".
The deal will allow SoftBank to invest a significant amount of its "Vision Fund", a $100 billion fund earmarked for technology-focused companies around the world.
When the deal is completed, the company will make governance changes, including expanding its board from 11 to 17 members including four independent directors, limiting some early shareholders' voting power and cutting the control wielded by former chief executive Travis Kalanick. However some Uber investors were concerned the price SoftBank was offering was too low, according to Recode.
Over the past year, a former employee's charges of endemic sexual harassment led to an internal review, London said it is stripping Uber of its license and Uber revealed it had covered up a major hack.
The Uber investment comes after a year of troubles for the company, including a lawsuit by Alphabet Inc's self-driving vehicle unit Waymo that alleges trade-secrets theft and federal investigations that span possible bribery of foreign officials in Asian countries and the use of software to evade regulators.