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SoftBank, Benchmark Face Final Hurdle in Uber Deal

It’s been a week since the Uber board agreed, in theory, to sell between $7 billion and $10 billion worth of Uber’s shares to SoftBank—yet nothing has happened. The reason: SoftBank and major Uber investors, including Benchmark, still haven’t been able to agree on the deal’s structure and price.

Benchmark wants every investor who sells part of their stake to SoftBank to get the same price. But SoftBank and Dragoneer, another potential buyer involved in the negotiations, want investors who agree to sell their shares earlier to receive a higher price, according to people involved in the discussions. Benchmark and other investors say that approach would coerce shareholders to sell early without knowing the price.

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Benchmark first invested in Uber in 2011, when it led an $11 million series A round of financing at a $49 million price. The VC firm, which now owns 13% of Uber’s equity, tweeted on Aug. 7 that Uber could be “comfortably worth more than $100 billion.”

Jordan Elpern-Waxman commented on this article.
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