Uber is gearing up to launch an initial public offering at some point, which is expected to be red hot, but at least two Wall Street banks passed on selling private shares to high-net worth clients in January.
That’s according to a report by Bloomberg, which cited people with knowledge of the matter. While many banks are clamoring to get in on the potential IPO, JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank turned down the opportunity to offer shares to its top customers, largely because Uber wouldn’t give bankers financial details about the ride-hailing app’s business. The report noted that JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank expressed concern they would not be able sell the shares because there is a lack of specifics about the business. What’s more, Bloomberg reported Deutsche Bank weighed the fact that selling shares via the private wealth division isn’t normal practice and something it hadn’t done before.
Bloomberg noted Bank of America and Morgan Stanley did sell shares earlier this year and did it through their private wealth units. The report noted that, even though the share sale was via the two banks’ private wealth units, it could help them win IPO business when Uber decides to launch its IPO. The report noted JPMorgan’s and Deutsche Bank’s decisions to potentially hurt their relationships with Uber is notable.
In June, Uber received $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s investment arm, known as the Public Investment Fund. The $3.5 billion tally remains part of a $5 billion investment from the Saudis and others, representing the largest single investment in a venture-backed outfit. With it, Uber is valued at $68 billion. The round eclipsed the $4.5 billion record set not long ago by Ant Financial. JPMorgan Chase ironically advised the Saudis on that deal.