SoftBank Offers To Invest In Uber At 30 Percent Discount


Japan’s SoftBank has reportedly been thinking about investing a big chunk of money in Uber. According to a new report, the company is planning to make an offer to purchase Uber shares at a 30 percent discount. Its offer will be based on a valuation of $48 billion which is a 30 percent discount to Uber’s most recent valuation of $68.5 billion.

Uber’s board approved the investment last month. The cash infusion is also going to bring about some corporate governance changes at the company. It would particularly limit the voting powers of some early shareholders, including that of founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick.

SoftBank is leading a consortium of investors including the Dragoneer Investment Group. The consortium intends to acquire a stake of at least 14 percent in Uber. The tender offer is reportedly going to be launched in a couple of days and investors will have almost two months to respond to the offer.

Apparently, the offer price is what some of the investors have been expecting. Uber was valued around this level back in 2015 when its shares were priced almost $40 a pop.

SoftBank and its partners retain the right to walk away from the deal if there aren’t enough interested sellers. It’s also expected to make an additional $1 billion investment in Uber at its $68.5 billion valuation.

SoftBank Offers To Invest In Uber At 30 Percent Discount , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Robot Programed To Conduct Buddhist Funeral Rites

Image Credit: Reuters / Kim Kyung-Hoon

There’s a growing concern that robots will eventually replace humans. Many industrial jobs have already been lost due to the advancement of robotic technology and it seems that robots might end up replacing humans for administering funeral rites as well. A Japanese company has programed SoftBank’s Pepper humanoid robot to perform Buddhist funeral rites.

The programed robot chants sutras in its computerized voice as it taps a drum in a display that demonstrated its abilities to administer Buddhist funeral rites. The robot was being demonstrated at the Life Ending Industry Expo in Tokyo. Yes, that’s an expo for the funeral industry.

Nissei Eco, a company that makes plastic molding, wrote the program that enables SoftBank’s Pepper robot to perform this function. Michio Inamura, Nissei’s executive advisor, pointed out that many Buddhist priests now receive less financial support from their communities as Japan’s population ages and shrinks.

This has led to many priests having to find part-time work outside their temples. The robot will then step in to perform the duties when a priest isn’t available. It will also cost less. A funeral administered by the robot will cost around $450 while one administered by a human priest costs $2,200.

Despite its cost-cutting benefits, nobody has hired the funeral-ready robot as yet.

Robot Programed To Conduct Buddhist Funeral Rites , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Sprint, SoftBank Reportedly Holding Informal Talks With T-Mobile

According to a report from a few days ago, SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son said that he would love to continue discussing a deal with T-Mobile in which Sprint and T-Mobile could potentially merge together. It turns out that it was more than just a wish because in a report from Bloomberg, those talks have already begun.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, it seems that informal talks between SoftBank, Sprint, and T-Mobile have already begun. However the talks are said to be in their very early stages so nothing is set yet. In fact it is so early that the banks that the companies might use to facilitate the sale haven’t even been hired yet, but the report claims that there are various financial firms who are throwing their names into the hat for consideration.

Talks about Sprint/SoftBank buying T-Mobile and merging have been going on for years, although in the past it seems that even such a notion was dismissed by the FCC back then due to potential anticompetitive reasons. However our previous report stated that Son felt that the current US government’s administration seems more open to such a deal, although we guess that remains to be seen.

T-Mobile USA’s parent company Deutsche Telekom has been trying to sell the company off for years, and at one point a deal with AT&T was almost came to fruition. However recently Deutsche Telekom’s CEO stated that he was no longer in the mood to sell off T-Mobile, but who knows, perhaps a good deal offered by SoftBank could change his mind.

Sprint, SoftBank Reportedly Holding Informal Talks With T-Mobile , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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SoftBank’s CEO Reveals How He Brought The iPhone To Japan

SoftBanks CEO Reveals How He Brought The iPhone To JapanThe iPhone is probably one of the more desired smartphones in the world at the moment, and despite what its critics and detractors have to say about it, they have to admit that it is true to a certain level. What this also means is that carriers are more than happy, for the most part, to offer the phone on their network.

However getting the iPhone onto a network isn’t as simple as placing an order with Apple. In fact based on what we have heard in the past from carriers, usually this means buying a certain amount of phones from Apple as well as agreeing to some of Apple’s demands, like no installing of carrier bloatware on the iPhone. (more…)

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