Business & Tech

Uber said to file for initial public offering

Bloomberg News/File

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber Technologies Inc. has joined rival Lyft Inc. in filing for an initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Like Lyft, Uber this week submitted its IPO filing confidentially to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter was private. Unlike Lyft, the larger of the two ride-hailing competitors didn’t announce the move.

The offering could be the largest IPO next year and one of the five biggest of all time. Bankers have told Uber that the San Francisco-based company could be worth $120 billion on the public markets, people familiar with the matter have previously said.

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Lyft said Thursday that it had submitted its prospectus for an IPO to the SEC. Uber’s filing was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal. A spokesman for Uber declined to comment.

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The two companies are racing toward IPOs as equities markets are in turmoil. Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi has financial incentives to take the company public next year at a lofty valuation. Uber’s investors have long pushed it toward an IPO, which would free them and employees to sell their shares.

Uber’s revenue growth slowed in the third quarter to 38 percent. It lost $1.1 billion on revenue of $2.95 billion.

While Uber hasn’t selected a lead banker for the share sale, Morgan Stanley played a key role in helping the company write its IPO prospectus, a person familiar with the matter has said.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s $25 billion US listing in 2014 is the largest-ever IPO. SoftBank Group Corp.’s $23.5 billion listing of its telecom unit, which is already fully subscribed, will become the second biggest when it officially prices on Monday.

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Depending on Uber’s valuation, its listing could be in that league. As long as its offering exceeds $17.4 billion, Uber will rank among the top five IPOs.

IPOs next year by Uber and Lyft would only be part of a roster of possible US tech mega-listings. Office chat software maker Slack Technologies Inc. expects an IPO valuation of $10 billion or more as soon as it can show full 2018 financial results, according to people familiar with the matter. Airbnb Inc., with a private valuation of $31 billion, is targeting a listing as soon as June or by the end of 2020.