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Uber pulls back on valuation with IPO pricing

By AFP
media The ride-hailing giant Uber could be worth some $83 billion following its share offering -- a large valuation but below some earlier targets dpa/AFP/File

Uber pulled back on its ambitious valuation target Friday, while still pricing its share offering in a range that would make it one of the largest tech market debuts in recent years.

The ride-hailing firm said in a securities filing it would sell 207 million shares in a range of $44 to $50 dollars, raising up to $10 billion.

That would give Uber a market value of between $74 billion and $84 billion. Some media reports said the figure could be up to $90 billion accounting for restricted stock options.

But the pricing target -- still subject to change -- fell below earlier ambitions of a valuation of more than $100 billion for the firm operating in some 700 cities around the world.

The move comes after a market debut stumble for Uber's US rival Lyft, which has lost more than 20 percent of its value since its initial public offering (IPO) last month.

Uber is the latest, and will be the largest of the so-called "unicorns," or venture-backed startups worth at least $1 billion, to look to Wall Street listings to expand their capital base.

But some of the early enthusiasm about this unicorn herd has waned and there are hints that private investment rounds may have been priced too high.

Analysts warn both Uber and Lyft will need strong growth to justify their lofty valuations, and face multiple challenges to their business model which has disrupted traditional taxi services and relies on drivers to be independent contractors.

Uber will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "UBER" sometime next month.

It also announced a private placement of the tech finance firm PayPal of $500 million.

In its filing, Uber estimated a loss in the first quarter of 2019 of $1.1 billion on revenue of $3 billion.

 
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