According to Wall Street Journal on Thursday, SoftBank Group, the Japanese tech giant, may buy 15% of Uber, with an additional 5% of the company likely available to other outside bidders.
In the deal, Uber was valued $48 billion, which was a 30% discount to its $68 billion valuation from June 2016. The drop in value reflected the trouble that Uber experienced during 2017.
The deal between Uber and SoftBank triggers new governance terms at Uber, which was approved in October. Under the new terms, the size of the board will expand to 17 from the previous size of 11, two of which will go to SoftBank. This move will dilute the power of Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber, who still has influence in the company.
However, this deal will help Uber to keep the money flowing. Uber has said that it was considering a 2019 IPO even though it loss a lot of money, and the company needs SoftBank's capital to continue fueling its expansion.
Since the tender process is not finalized, both companies were not immediately available to comment on the news.
Uber is not the only technology company that SoftBank acquired in recent years. In 2012, SoftBank bought Sprint, and in 2016, the company bought British chipmaker ARM. Additionally, SoftBank also owns stakes in Uber’s rivals, such as Grab, Ola, and Didi Chuxing.