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Uber Might Wait Weeks To Win Back License In London

06 October, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Uber boss resigns as it battles for licence			
   by Tess De La Mare 

SoftBank previously held discussions on whether or not it should buy a huge portion of Uber's stock, but reports said that depended on whether the company was willing to implement governance changes.

"SoftBank's interest is an incredible vote of confidence in Uber's business and long-term potential, and we look forward to finalizing the investment in the coming weeks", Uber said. An Uber spokesperson called the power move "a complete surprise" on Friday, given the fact its former chief executive had controlled those seats but left them empty for more than a year, and that they are now at the center of a lawsuit from investor Benchmark Capital against Kalanick over alleged fraud. The Japanese firm plans to invest as much as $1.25 billion at Uber's current valuation of almost $70 billion, and then buy up to an additional $10 billion worth of shares at a valuation of around $50 billion, Recode reported Tuesday.

The board has proposed re-tooling Uber's governance structure to diminish the power of some shareholders - Class B shareholders now have 10-to-1 voting power, but that would change to one vote per share, said Los Angeles-based attorney Mark Geragos, who represents the group of shareholders, which includes outspoken investor Shervin Pishevar.

Kalanick would lose one of the three board seats he controls, and a representative from SoftBank, which is considering a major investment in Uber, would get the seat instead.

In a rare moment of unity, the ride-hailing firm's leaders agreed Tuesday to a "one share, one vote" model to ensure parity in decision making, three sources familiar with matter said.

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Directors at the San Francisco company are optimistic about passing a share sale of as much as $10 billion, though it's possible the board will need to accept certain compromises to reach consensus, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

In a statement to Business Insider Friday night, Kalanick basically admitted his surprise appointments were created to get in front of the proposed changes to the board structure. But Khosrowshahi was able to bring directors together to push through changes that limit Kalanick's influence. Khosrowshahi was taken by surprise on Friday when Kalanick appointed two corporate titans - former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and former Xerox Corporation CEO Ursula Burns - to the board with little notice. Mr. Kalanick had outsize voting rights at the company under a certain class of Uber stock that he owns, and he controls three board seats under an amendment to the corporate charter that was passed past year. But during the meeting, Uber's board members voted to drop the special super-voting power of class B common shares and preferred shares - Uber's two stock categories.

That Khosrowshahi wasn't present in-person for Tuesday's board vote, speaks to the hectic week he's had as Uber's new leader.

Ever since Travis Kalanick was ousted as the CEO of Uber, the company has lurched from one trouble to another, and new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has his hands full.

The agreement is a major victory for Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, who is in London after meeting with taxi regulators there to appeal a looming citywide ban.


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