Uber reveals plans for IPO in 2019

Uber has revealed it’s planning to go public in 2019, despite coming under fire across the globe for failing to run its operation in the “fit and proper” way, losing its London licence for operation and shutting down in other countries.

The company’s new boss, Dara Khosrowshahi, revealed the taxi service’s intentions at the New York Times‘ Dealbook conference yesterday, saying that he expects the company to launch its bid for IPO in 2019. Previously, the company said it would be looking at a timeline of 18-36 months.

Khosrowshahi referred to the troubles the business has faced over the last 12 months, saying remaining private “has all the disadvantage of being a public company, with the spotlight on us, with none of the advantages”.

Khosrowshahi’s predecessor and company founder, Travis Kalanick, reportedly had no interest in taking the company to the stock exchange, but the new chief seems to think it’s the right decision to grow the company’s future (and possibly scrape back some of its reputation).

However, Uber’s CEO did explain that going public wouldn’t affect the company’s negotiations with SoftBank, which is investing in the ride-hailing company, despite the Japanese firm saying it has no interest in going public.

Uber is due to receive a substantial amount of investment from SoftBank. However, just two days ago, SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son told a press conference at its earnings call that actually the company may halt its investment in Uber and instead back Lyft’s services. 

“Depending on the price and conditions, it is wholly possible we could shift our investment to the other main company Lyft. It is wholly possible. We won’t know until the very end,” he said.

He explained a number of conditions will come into play, including whether the price is right, the number of board members SoftBank will be allowed to have, voting rights and “the buying process”. 

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