Uber qui­etly files pa­per­work for IPO in next quar­ter

Ride-share firm may go pub­lic as soon as first quar­ter, with $120b val­u­a­tion touted

Gulf News - - Business -

Ride-share com­pany Uber qui­etly filed pa­per­work last week for its ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing (IPO), the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported late on Fri­day.

The move comes one day after ri­val Lyft launched the process to take the com­pany pub­lic with a stock of­fer­ing.

Cit­ing un­named sources, WSJ said Uber could go pub­lic as soon as the first quar­ter, while Lyft is tar­get­ing its mar­ket de­but for March or April 2019. Uber, which op­er­ates in over 60 coun­tries, is in a race with Lyft to be the first to en­ter the mar­ket.

Dis­rup­tive drive

Uber’s CEO Dara Khos­row­shahi, after join­ing in late Au­gust 2017, had men­tioned that he was hop­ing for an IPO in the first half of 2019.

Uber is al­ready the largest of the ven­ture-backed “uni­corns” val­ued at more than $1 bil­lion (Dh3.67 bil­lion), which un­til re­cently was con­sid­ered rare with­out tapping stock mar­kets.

In mid-Oc­to­ber, WSJ re­ported that JP­Mor­gan had been cho­sen along with Credit Suisse and Jef­feries Group for its IPO next year, which could value Uber as high as $120 bil­lion.

If its val­u­a­tion tops $100 bil­lion, Uber’s IPO would be the big­gest ever in the tech sec­tor, and worth more than the com­bined value of the three big au­tomak­ers Gen­eral Mo­tors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles.

An IPO of such mag­ni­tude would es­pe­cially be a mark of in­vestor con­fi­dence for Khos­row­shahi, who re­placed the con­tro­ver­sial Travis Kalan­ick, pushed out the door by in­vestors anx­ious over scan­dals.

Khos­row­shahi has vowed to fix the com­pany’s work cul­ture and busi­ness prac­tices after a series of mis­steps over ex­ec­u­tive mis­con­duct, a toxic work at­mos­phere and po­ten­tially un­eth­i­cal com­pet­i­tive prac­tices.

For now, Uber has fur­ther in­creased its losses in the third quar­ter to more than a bil­lion dol­lars.

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