This is about 30 percent less than its previous $68 billion valuation, which means investors and employees who plan to offload some of their shares will be taking a major discount.
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.
SoftBank has bought a major stake in Uber at a steep 30pc discount, after a chaotic year in which the ride-hailing firm faced a string of scandals, saw its chief executive resign and was hit with United Kingdom city bans. And in a maneuver to prop up Uber's value, SoftBank will also purchase up to $1.25 billion worth of new shares at the existing valuation of $67.5 billion.
The tender offer came at a particularly bad time for the company. SoftBank will occupy two seats on the company's board and will now be an extremely influential player in decisions at Uber. Still, $48 billion is very different than $70 billion. They said that SoftBank is expected to acquire 15 percent, while the reminder will likely be made available to other prospective buyers.
Sources familiar with the matter told the publication that stakeholders are tendering 20 percent of the equity in the ride-hailing company.
Uber now has a powerful strategic partner in SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant that is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in technology. It will trigger governance changes including expanding Uber's board from 11 to 17 members, limiting some early shareholders' voting power and cutting the control wielded by former chief executive Travis Kalanick.
Rajeev Misra, chief executive of SoftBank's Vision Fund, a tech investment vehicle, will be nominated to the Uber board, the Journal reported.