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Uber nears US$1b spinout of self-driving car unit

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Uber Technologies Inc is in advanced discussions to spin out its costly self-driving-car unit and sell a US$1 billion stake to a consortium of investors led by SoftBank Group Corp, people familiar with the plans said.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Uber Technologies Inc is in advanced discussions to spin out its costly self-driving-car unit and sell a US$1 billion stake to a consortium of investors led by SoftBank Group Corp, people familiar with the plans said.

The deal would value the autonomous-vehicle business at US$5 billion to US$10 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The plans aren't finalised and could fall apart.

SoftBank and Uber declined to comment. The late-stage discussions were reported earlier Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal.

Selling a stake in the self-driving business would allow Uber to offload part of a very expensive endeavor, as it faces scrutiny from prospective investors in an initial public offering planned for the coming months.

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The group led by SoftBank, Uber's largest shareholder, would include other investors, and possibly at least one automaker, though their identities couldn't be learned.

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