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US: Uber eyes 2019 IPO

 |  December 10, 2018

Uber is moving ahead with its initial public offering (IPO), filing paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US last week.

The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Uber is joining Lyft, its ride-hailing rival, in filing the paperwork with the SEC, setting the stage for the two to go public in rapid succession. The report noted the IPOs could happen in the first quarter of 2019 at the earliest. They are expected to be among the largest tech IPOs planned for the New Year, noted the report. The two have already received multibillion-dollar valuations. The IPOs are aimed at raising money to fund the next stage of growth, noted the Financial Times. The IPOs also give early investors and employees a means to cash out their shares.

Uber isn’t the only one gearing up for an IPO. The Financial Times noted that Slack, the workplace messaging app, has hired an investment bank to underwrite its IPO in 2019. The FT cited sources familiar with the matter. Airbnb, Palantir, and Stripe are also seen as potential IPOs in 2019. People close to the matter told the paper that in the case of Uber, it is tapping Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for the IPO and could try to get a valuation of higher than US$100 billion. It would be one-third more than the US$76 billion valuation Uber had in the fall when it sold a stake to Toyota.

While Uber has been saying for months that it expects an IPO in the second half of next year, the company is speeding up the pace in part because of the volatility in the stock market and the global growth outlook that may lower the appetite for the IPO, reported The FT. It is also in a race with Lyft to get to the public market first.

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