Uber Shareholders Including Kalanick Loosen Grip With Sales of Stock

Uber Shareholders Including Kalanick Loosen Grip With Sales of Stock

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An Uber driver center in the Bronx. Travis Kalanick, Uber’s former chief executive, was said to have sold nearly one-third of his shares for about $1.4 billion.

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Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Several of Uber’s early investors and company leaders are beginning to loosen their grip on the ride-hailing company — and are set to reap big riches in the process.

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s former chief executive, has sold nearly one-third of his shares in the privately held company for about $1.4 billion, according to three people with knowledge of the transaction, who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential.

Benchmark, a venture capital firm that invested when Uber was very young, plans to sell about $900 million of stock, or close to 15 percent of its holdings in the company, these people added.

The buyer of all these shares is an investment consortium led by SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate, which recently agreed to acquire $10 billion of Uber stock from shareholders. SoftBank, which has a $100 billion investment fund called the Vision Fund, has been on a spending spree since last year and has invested in ride-hailing companies and other tech companies around the world.

That Mr. Kalanick and some of Uber’s earliest investors are selling their shares is notable because they have long held an iron grip on the ownership structure. That led to bitter fights last year over control of Uber, with Benchmark at one point suing Mr. Kalanick to reduce his say over the company.

Representatives for Mr. Kalanick and Benchmark declined to comment. News of the sale amounts were previously reported by Bloomberg and Recode.

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