File image: Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Former Uber chief executive officer, Travis Kalanick allegedly plans to sell about 29% of his stake in the ride-hailing company. 

This comes after Kalanick previously boasted that he has never sold shares in the company he co-founded. 

However, this sell-out stands to make the co-founder R17 billion richer. 

SoftBank Group and a partnership of investors have reportedly already agreed to buy equity, valuing Uber at R590 billion. 

With his 10% ownership of the company, Kalanick had offered to sell as much as half of his stake - the maximum board members were allowed to tender. 

He had to, however, reduce the amount because of limits outlined in the agreement between Uber and the buyers. 

Kalanick considered one of the wealthiest people in the world stands to become a billionaire for the first time, granted the success of the sale. 

The former CEO resigned in June last year, following pressure from investors. 

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"I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight," Kalanick said in a statement to The New York Times.

On June 13, Kalanick went on indefinite leave following the criticism of his management style and following the death of his mother. 

The 2009 founded company had also been trying to avert damage to its reputation, following revelations of sexual harassment in its offices, allegations of trade secrets theft and an investigation into efforts to mislead government regulators.

Kalanick said in court papers in August last year that he resigned under duress after Benchmark threatened to launch a public campaign against him.

He claimed that two weeks after his mother’s funeral, Benchmark principles handed him a draft resignation letter at his Chicago hotel room, telling him “he had hours to sign it.”

Kalanick demanded the removal of a provision in the letter that suggested the document was a “contractual undertaking,” according to the filing.

“Ultimately, given his emotional state, Kalanick relented and signed the revised letter,” his lawyers said in court papers.

Notably, the terms of the SoftBank deal prohibit the seller from selling more than 58% of shares initially offered. 

The SoftBank deal is allegedly expected to close later this month. Once the deal is finalised, it is believed that a number of governance reforms that reduce Kalanick’s influence at Uber, will go into effect. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE