SoftBank acquires a 20 percent stake in Uber

What next for start-up Uber after Soft Bank stake

What next for the tech firm

It marks the first significant piece of business for new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who is now preparing the embattled ride-hailing company to go public by 2019.

The tender offer values Uber at $48bn (£36bn), nearly a third lower than its most recent valuation of $69bn.

Following SoftBank's tender offer, Uber employees and investors offered to sell shares equivalent to about a fifth of the company to the investment firm at its proposed discounted price, according to the Journal.

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SoftBank probably will limit its purchase in the tender offer to 15 percent of Uber, and other members of its group are likely to buy additional shares.

While SoftBank played hardball with Uber, it promised investors it would cover the price difference for them if the final sale price came in over $33 a share, according to a clause in the documents detailing the terms of the agreement.

More than anything, however, SoftBank's presence on the board of Uber should help bring an end to the in-fighting that has plagued the company all year.

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"We are appreciative of the support from Uber's shareholders in the successful tender offer and look forward to closing the overall investment in January".

A spokesperson for Kalanick did not return a request for comment. The sellers of Uber shares haven't been disclosed, but some Uber employees are rumored to be among those selling, along with investors Benchmark and Menlo Ventures. Kalanick resigned from his post earlier this year after a number of scandals, but still maintains a seat on the company's board of directors, where he is surrounded by allies and controls 16 percent of the voting power.

Uber's legal tangles include a lawsuit by Alphabet Inc.'s self-driving vehicle unit Waymo that alleges trade-secrets theft and federal investigations that span possible bribery of foreign officials in Asian countries and the use of software to evade regulators.

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