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Technology

Kalanick sells $1.5 billion of Uber, may offload entire stake

Travis Kalanick
Former Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick has been offloading his shares in the ride-hailing company.
(European Pressphoto Agency)

Travis Kalanick’s November selling spree has almost reached $1.5 billion.

The Uber Technologies Inc. co-founder sold about $578 million of stock over three days this week, extending a series of transactions since a lockup ended Nov. 6. More disposals may be coming, with a Nov. 11 filing signaling Kalanick could offload his entire stake.

The 43-year-old’s holding in the ride-hailing company now constitutes far less than half of his $3.3-billion fortune. The shift started even before Uber’s May listing, with Kalanick participating in private transactions after he was ousted as chief executive in 2017.

“While it is usual to see directors with such a high-value holding selling regularly, Kalanick’s sales are unusually high,” said Michael Tindale, CEO of Smart Insider, which tracks and analyzes stock transactions by directors and senior managers.

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A spokeswoman for Kalanick has declined to explain the sales, and Uber’s press office didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Other insiders also have reduced holdings, though not on the scale of Kalanick, who has ditched more than half his stake since the lockup expired. Co-founder Garrett Camp has sold about $20 million of shares this month, a fraction of his $2-billion stake.

Kalanick’s actions underscore his focus on other investments even as he remains a director of Uber. He created a fund called 10100 in March 2018, saying in a tweet it would focus on his “passions, investments, ideas and big bets.” The fund will handle Kalanick’s for-profit investments and philanthropy and plans to invest in real estate, e-commerce and emerging innovation in China and India, according to its website.

One investment is CloudKitchens, which he funded with $300 million of his own cash. A $400-million injection from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in January valued the food start-up at $5 billion.

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The capital requirements of such investments might explain the pace of his Uber sales. The real estate business is costly and there’s plenty of competition for CloudKitchens, including from former colleagues at Uber.

The sales also reflect good financial practice.

“You have to assume any executive’s financial advisor wants them to sell some of their company stock because executives are inherently undiversified,” said Marc Ullman, a New York-based partner at Meridian Compensation Partners. “Most of their wealth tends to be in their company’s stock.”


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