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Softbank Reportedly Wants a Big Discount for Uber Investment

The shadow of Ken Miyauchi, executive vice president at SoftBank Corp. and chief executive officer of SoftBank's mobile unit, is cast against a screen displaying the company's logo during a product launch in Tokyo on May 19, 2015. Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Japanese tech giant Softbank, which has for months been mulling over a major investment in Uber, reportedly wants a big discount for taking a stake in the U.S. ride-hailing firm.

According to a Thursday report in The Wall Street Journal, Softbank’s stake may be as large as 22% if it can convince existing shareholders to sell on the terms it’s offering. The deal would also involve buying shares directly from Uber.

Softbank is apparently ready to spend $10 billion on the deal, but the auction process it’s after may value Uber at around $50 billion. Uber’s current valuation is about $68 billion, so—although some investors may be keen to cash out after a tumultuous year—the company would have some convincing to do.

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What happens next will likely mark the first major event for Uber under the stewardship of Dara Khosrowshahi, who recently took over following the ouster of Travis Kalanick.

Softbank has already invested in other ride-hailing firms such as Didi Chuxing and Ola, the dominant players in China and India, respectively. It most recently put money into Grab, a key Uber rival in Southeast Asia.

According to the WSJ report, the Japanese firm wants two seats on Uber’s board, and it’s willing to placate existing shareholders by investing $1 billion at the company’s existing valuation. Existing Uber investor Benchmark said not long ago that it’s shooting for a $100 billion valuation over the next couple years.

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