Uber's major shareholders just dumped a ton of stock for a lowball offer 30% under the current share price

Softbank's bid to buy Uber shares based on a valuation 30% lower than the company rated in its last round has been largely successful, with about 15-20% of shares changing hands at that price.

This deal will not raise money for Uber itself but will allow employees and early investors to cash out some of their holdings – at a steep discount.

But to maintain the illusion of the previous "valuation" of $69 billion – which is critical for a properly hyped future IPO – SoftBank will also make a $1-billion direct investment into Uber at the $69-billion "valuation," as part of the deal. Since startup "valuations" are based on the price paid during fund-raising, this $1-billion deal forms Uber's new "valuation," the same as the prior one. So the "valuation" illusion remains intact.

Turns out, Uber Shareholders Are Eager to Sell at 30% Discount [Wolf Richter/Wolf Street]

(via Naked Capitalism)