A model holds up a phone showing the Uber app, in London. Picture: REUTERS
A model holds up a phone showing the Uber app, in London. Picture: REUTERS

San Francisco/London — Uber Technologies shareholders and its board, led by early backer Benchmark, had discussed selling some of their shares to SoftBank Group and other potential investors, people familiar with the matter said.

The talks represent a major turning point for the company. It has amassed more than 500 investors, who fought to own a piece of the world’s most valuable start-up. The fact that some of the earliest backers now want to reduce their stakes suggests the scandals and other troubles in 2017 have taken a toll. The deal could include an injection of new money into the ride-hailing start-up, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.

It is unclear what valuation those shares would carry or how many may be sold. A private share sale like this would need to be approved by San Francisco-based Uber’s board.

Former Uber CE Travis Kalanick, who remains on the board, did not learn about the effort by Benchmark to sell early shares until recently, two people familiar with the matter said.

Bloomberg

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