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

Kalanick’s sales underline his focus on other investments even as he remains a director of Uber. He created a fund called 10100 in March 2018 which will handle hs plans to invest in real estate, e-commerce and emerging innovation in China and India.

Bloomberg|
Updated: Nov 22, 2019, 09.09 AM IST
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Travis Kalanick, the Uber Technologies Inc. co-founder, sold off about $578 million of stock over three days this week.
Travis Kalanick’s November selling spree has almost reached $1.5 billion. The Uber Technologies Inc. co-founder sold off 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 taking place even before Uber’s May listing, with Kalanick participating in private transactions after he was ousted as chief executive officer 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, chief executive officer of Smart Insider, which tracks and analyzes share transactions by directors and senior managers.

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 after hours on Thursday.

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

Kalanick’s sales underline 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 startup at $5 billion.

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 adviser 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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