It’s quite interesting that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) which recently added its stake in Apple (AAPL) by buying an additional 75 million shares of the tech giant had offered to buy a stake in Uber. According to a report from Bloomberg, Warren Buffett had discussed with ride-hailing company Uber in January this year for investing $3 billion, but the discussions didn’t bear fruit.
Buffett said to CNBC that the deal talks took place, but all the details that were available in the news report were not correct. The long-term value investor also added that he admires Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the reins of Uber in August 2017 after its founder Travis Kalanick was forced to resign. Uber, which reported its first quarter earnings last week, reported a 67% jump in revenue for the quarter and its tender offer valued the company around $62 billion.
Berkshire Hathaway, which is not fond of tech stocks except Apple and IBM (IBM), had invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs (GS) during the 2008 financial crisis period. Uber, that provides app-based taxi booking services, had stepped into various other strategic initiatives to expand its business like self-driving vehicles, UberEats (its food delivery business) and the firm had recently announced it will open a flying taxi research center in France.
In an interview to CNBC, Uber CEO Khosrowshahi expressed his confidence by saying that the company is on track for the IPO in the second half of 2019. He also confirmed that the failed discussions did happen with Warren Buffett.
If the deal had taken place, it would have fueled Uber, which has been facing many issues including the unavailability of CFO, data breach of Uber customers, unethical workplace culture and sexual scandals by its drivers.
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