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Uber Eyes 2019 IPO

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Thursday (Nov. 9) that the company is targeting 2019 for its initial public offering.

By PYMNTS

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Thursday (Nov. 9) that the company is targeting 2019 for its initial public offering.

Speaking during The New York Times’ DealBook conference that was covered by TechCrunch, the new CEO of the ride-hailing company disclosed the targeted IPO timeline. In the past, the executive had been vaguer about the plans, saying the company was eyeing an IPO in 18 to 36 months. Khosrowshahi did say that remaining a private company isn’t helping, since it “has all the disadvantage of being a public company, with the spotlight on us, with none of the advantages.”

The company’s former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was pushed out of the top job amid scandals at the company, had long said he wanted Uber to stay private for as long as possible, noted TechCrunch.

The CEO pointed out that a potential IPO shouldn’t impact the investment SoftBank is looking to make in the ride-sharing company, as recent reports have surfaced that the investment could be at risk. According to Bloomberg, Masayoshi Son, the head of SoftBank who is in talks to make the investment, warned he could walk away, potentially pouring money into rival Lyft instead.

“Depending on the price and conditions, it is wholly possible we could shift our investment to the other main company, Lyft. It is wholly possible,” Son said at a press conference following SoftBank’s second-quarter earnings. “We won’t know until the very end.” The executive said that greater than half of the stake he wants to buy comes from current investors of the ride-sharing company.

If it’s too difficult to come up with a price tag for the stake, Son could walk away. Other factors that could scuttle the Uber investment include the number of board members, voting rights and the process to purchase the shares.