Yet even as Uber undergoes leadership troubles, the company — which is largely funded by venture capital and private equity firms — remains an attractive investment because it is the world’s biggest ride-hailing service and is growing fast.
Uber itself does not need new money; the company has raised more than $10 billion in debt and equity and has some $5 billion in the bank.
But the board considered the proposals for a variety of reasons. For some of Uber’s existing shareholders, selling stock now could help lock in a hefty profit at a time when the company’s future is unclear. One of the proposals could also lead to the ouster of one investor whose firm — Benchmark — has an Uber board seat and that some other board members believe is deliberately damaging the company.
One concern has been whether a share sale could end up negatively affecting Uber’s valuation, which stands at $68.5 billion and has made the company the most highly valued private start-up in the world.
Two of the three proposals include buying shares at a discount to Uber’s valuation, but also provide a face-saving way for the company to maintain its $68.5 billion value. Dragoneer’s investment coalition wants to buy out shareholders at a discount to Uber’s current valuation, and SoftBank is offering to buy shares at a lower valuation as well. But both groups would also purchase a small amount of new shares at Uber’s current valuation to keep the company’s value propped up on paper.
The group led by Mr. Pishevar said it would purchase the shares at the current valuation. Whichever deal ultimately gets approved, this would be the first time that Uber has sold a large chunk of shares at a price that was the same on paper as a previous round of financing.
A spokesman for Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment; a spokeswoman for Uber’s board declined to comment, as did SoftBank and a spokeswoman for Mr. Pishevar. Dragoneer did not respond to a…