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May, 03 2018

SoftBank Strives to up stakes in Ola

The report said SoftBank is now in talks to anyway buy Ola shares from Tiger Global Management.

SoftBank Group Corp is in a boardroom battle with cab aggregator Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal after the latter blocked the Japanese entity’s move to buy more shares in the Indian company, reported a financial daily citing two people aware of the development.

The report said SoftBank is now in talks to anyway buy Ola shares from Tiger Global Management.

Ola chief executive Aggarwal blocked a proposed involving Tiger Global selling part of its stake to SoftBank in late 2017, according to the report. Tiger Global partner Lee Fixel resigned from Ola’s board after the deal was blocked, the report added.

Last year in May, Ola had rewritten the rules of engagement to restrict its investors, including SoftBank, from buying more company shares.

According to documents filed with the corporate affairs ministry, SoftBank and its affiliates will need the approval of Ola founders Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati as well as the company’s board to purchase additional shares from other stakeholders.

The report also said that an Ola spokesperson denied any transaction between SoftBank and Tiger Global was in the works. It also cited a partner at a law firm that it didn’t name as saying that any such deal was unlikely given that SoftBank needed Aggarwal’s approval to increase its stake.

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