Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett reportedly proposed investing $3 billion in Uber Technologies earlier this year, but disagreements over terms took the deal off the table. This according to a recent article in Bloomberg.
The proposed agreement, the article reports, offered terms similar to those presented to Goldman during the financial crisis– a convertible loan that would protect Buffett’s investment should Uber hit hard times, along with significant upside if the ride-hailing company continued to grow in value.
The article says the ride-hailing company has been “working to find its footing after controversies over its culture and the fatal crash of one of its self-driving cars in March.” The company’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi—who joined in September 2017 to improve Uber’s public reputation–reportedly proposed decreasing the Berkshire deal amount to $2 billion, but the two side couldn’t agree. In talks with CNBC, Buffett confirmed having had discussions with the company but that some of the reported details were incorrect.
In March, Uber received a $1.5 billion term loan and in January the company received a $1.25 billion loan from Softbank (as well as $8 billion in stock repurchases from Softbank and a consortium of banks). The article speculates that these recent cash infusions might have rendered Buffett’s proposal less compelling.