“I’m a big fan of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and it’s true that Berkshire had conversations with Uber,” Buffett said, reacting to Bloomberg’s report that Berkshire Hathaway offered Uber a few months ago to invest $3 billion. The offer was made after Japanese investment giant Softbank bought shares in the company in January.
According to the report, Uber and Berkshire Hathaway did not agree on the terms and extent of the deal, so Uber tried to persuade Buffett to buy a smaller number of shares.
Softbank bought shares in Uber at an estimated value of $48 billion, less than the $66 billion previous estimations of its value. Last week, Uber published its first-quarter results and a purchase offer worth more than $60 billion.
The company has suffered damage to its reputation since its controversial founder Travis Kalanick was fired from it last year. Since taking over as CEO 10 months ago, Khosrowshahi has emphasized passenger safety, driver’s rights and improved relations with the authorities.
Berkshire’s investment could serve as a quality stamp for Uber for a future IPO. Buffett earlier this month led Apple to reach an all-time high when he discovered he had a massive share of the hardware giant.
Buffett has a history of saving companies in crisis, but has previously avoided entering into deals with technology companies. He admitted earlier this month that he had made a mistake when he missed Google and Amazon.