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Uber Picks New York Stock Exchange for Its Mega IPO

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 3/21/2019 Eric Newcomer

Th Uber Technologies Inc. car service application (app) is displayed for a photograph on an Apple Inc. iPhone in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.© Photographer: Victor J. Blue Th Uber Technologies Inc. car service application (app) is displayed for a photograph on an Apple Inc. iPhone in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. has selected the New York Stock Exchange for its imminent initial public offering, handing the trading floor what could be one of the five biggest listings of all time, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public.

The ride-hailing giant is expected to publicly file for its offering in April, kicking off a listing that could value the company at as much as $120 billion and is likely to be the biggest of the year, people familiar with the plans have said previously. At that valuation, Uber would only have to float about 16 percent of its shares to make the top five, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

By selecting the iconic trading floor in the heart of Wall Street, Uber is diverging from rival Lyft Inc., which will start trading next week on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Many technology giants, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. trade on Nasdaq, which was once the dominant exchange for tech upstarts going public. Representatives for Uber and the New York Stock Exchange declined to comment.

Since a technical glitch dogged Facebook Inc.’s Nasdaq listing seven years ago, the NYSE has attracted large tech companies including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s record $25 billion in 2014 offering, Twitter Inc.’s 2013 IPO and Snap Inc.’s debut in 2017.

It doesn’t hurt that Uber’s Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai once served as the finance chief of the NYSE, and Uber board member John Thain served as its chief executive officer from 2004 to 2007. NYSE is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc. after the Atlanta-based exchanges giant acquired NYSE Euronext for more than $10 billion in 2013.

IPO Race

Lyft and Uber’s race to market has created a similar dynamic to 2014, when Chinese e-commerce rivals Alibaba and JD.com went public within months of each other. JD.com, the smaller company by far, chose Nasdaq, while Alibaba opted for NYSE.

Both Lyft and Uber filed confidential IPO documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the same day in December, but San Francisco-based Lyft has since raced ahead of its larger competitor. Lyft started its roadshow to market the stock this week, meeting with investors in New York and Boston. While the smaller company has boasted that it reached 39 percent market share in the U.S. in December, Lyft only generated about one-fifth of Uber’s $11.4 billion in revenue for the whole of 2018.

At the top of its marketed price range, Lyft’s IPO could value the company at as much as $23.3 billion, including some restricted equity units for employees and others that aren’t yet fully available to them.

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