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  HOME | Business & Economy (Click here for more)

Lyft Aspires to $23 Billion Valuation in Pending Public Stock Offering

NEW YORK – The ridesharing firm Lyft is aspiring to attain a valuation of between $21 billion and $23 billion when it offers some $2 billion worth of stock on the New York stock market, according to the S-1 prospectus the firm submitted on Monday to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lyft, which on March 1 beat its main competitor – Uber – to the punch by announcing its initial public offering, is seeking to sell about 35 million shares for a price of between $62 and $68 each, although that is just a preliminary offering.

The firm – which launched in 2012 and covers about 95 percent of the US market, along with Canada – will list on the Nasdaq using the ticker symbol LYFT and is expected to begin trading by the end of March.

The valuation total includes the $2 billion that the San Francisco-based tech firm wants to raise in the IPO.

The final decision on the IPO price, according to what sources cited in local media outlets said, will be made by the firm and its underwriters after consultations with investors that will be launched in its roadshow on Monday.

The latest private valuation of Lyft was for $15.1 billion in early 2018, which would make it one of the biggest new tech IPOs in the US since the debut of the Alibaba Group Holding in 2014, according to Dealogic.

Lyft made its move toward an IPO to avoid being eclipsed by a possible similar operation by Uber, its main competitor, which would apparently be seeking to attain a valuation of about $120 billion on the New York exchange.

The operation is being backed by the country’s main banking group – J/P. Morgan Chase – as well as by Credit Suisse and Jefferies, among others.

According to the prospectus, Lyft is taking market share from Uber and controlled 39 percent of the US market at the end of 2018, 17 percent more than it had captured in 2016. Lyft moved 30.7 million passengers in 2018 using 1.9 million drivers.

The firm took in $2.2 billion last year, double its earnings in 2017, and it generated bookings of $8.1 billion, 76 percent more than during the previous period.

However, the firm showed a net loss of $911 million.

The prospectus also discusses the creation of a bonus system for the firm’s drivers, who will be able to exchange their earnings for Lyft shares.

Thus, drivers who on Feb. 25 had completed 10,000 rides with good ratings will receive $1,000 and those completing 20,000 rides will receive $10,000. Drivers who are part of the Lyft Driver Advisory Council will also receive $1,000.


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