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Report on Business Uber aiming to sell around $10-billion of stock in IPO: sources

Uber Technologies Inc. has decided it will seek to sell around US$10-billion worth of stock in its initial public offering, and will make public the registration of the offering on Thursday, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

An IPO of this size would make Uber one of the biggest technology IPOs of all time, and the largest since that of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014.

Uber is seeking a valuation of between US$90-billion and US$100-billion, influenced by the poor performance of smaller rival Lyft Inc.’s shares following its IPO late last month, the sources said. Investment bankers previously told Uber it could be worth as much as US$120-billion.

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Uber most recently was valued at US$76-billion in the private fundraising market.

Most of the shares sold would be issued by the company, while a smaller portion would be owned by Uber investors cashing out, one of the sources said.

Uber plans to make its IPO registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission publicly available on Thursday, and will kick off its investor road show during the week of April 29, putting it on track to price its IPO and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange in early May, the sources said.

The sources cautioned that the plans are still subject to change and market conditions, and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

A representative for Uber declined to comment.

Lyft’s IPO priced at the top end of its upwardly revised range last month, assigning it a valuation of more than US$24-billion in an offering that raised US$2.34-billion. But the stock has traded poorly since debuting on the Nasdaq on March 29, as concerns about the startup’s path to profitability have become more prominent. The shares ended trading on Tuesday at US$67.44, well below their US$72 IPO price.

In moderating its valuation expectations, Uber is showing a realism that is being increasingly adopted by Silicon Valley unicorns, as stock market investors push back against some of the lofty price tags sought.

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On Monday, Pinterest Inc. set a price range for its IPO that values it below the US$12-billion at which the online image-search company sourced its last private fundraising in 2017.

Uber operates in more than 70 countries. In addition to ride-hailing, its business includes bike and scooter rentals, freight hauling, food delivery and an expensive self-driving car division.

During the IPO road show, Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, will be tasked with convincing investors that he has successfully changed the company’s culture and business practices after a series of embarrassing scandals over the past two years.

Those have included sexual-harassment allegations, a massive data breach that was concealed from regulators, use of illicit software to evade authorities and allegations of bribery overseas.

Uber last year had revenue of US$11.3-billion, while gross bookings from rides was US$50-billion. But the company lost US$3.3-billion, excluding gains from the sale of its overseas business units in Russia and Southeast Asia.

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