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Lyft built itself into a fierce challenger to Uber partly through aggressive price cutting. Now investors who want a piece of America’s second-largest ride-hailing company will likely need to pay a premium when the stock starts trading next week.
The San Francisco-based company has only been on the road marketing its initial public offering for two days, but investors have already been informed that the listing is oversubscribed at the current price range, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.
Based on early commitments, Lyft executives and bankers see demand far exceeding the number of available shares, making it likely that the company will surpass the $23 billion valuation it is seeking, said the people.
Lyft is expected to price its shares on March 28 and begin trading on the Nasdaq the next day. If excessive demand continues, the company could decide to sell more shares or price them above the original range of $62 to $68 a share. A spokeswoman for Lyft declined to comment. Reuters reported earlier Tuesday that Lyft’s offering was oversubscribed.
Strong demand ahead of an offering doesn’t necessarily translate to success in the public markets. Facebook and Snap were each oversubscribed before their IPOs. Facebook’s stock had a dismal first year, and Snap is currently trading well below its offering price.
The initial enthusiasm for Lyft indicates that many investors are willing to overlook the company’s losses, which are substantial. Last year, Lyft lost $991 million on revenue of $2.2 billion. Strong interest in Lyft’s shares bode well for Uber Technologies, which is expected to kick off its IPO in April, people familiar with the matter said.
Investors met Tuesday with Lyft executives and top bankers from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Lyft founders Logan Green and John Zimmer, as well as Brian Roberts, the chief financial officer, spoke to the group of would-be stockholders at the St. Regis hotel in New York. Noah Wintroub, JPMorgan’s vice chairman, and Michael Millman, co-head of equity capital markets for the Americas, also attended the meeting.
Bankers have compared Lyft in the discussions with investors to so-called marketplace companies like food delivery operator Grubhub and luxury fashion retailer Farfetch, said a person familiar with the matter. They’ve also drawn comparisons to Facebook, Netflix and Square. Lyft wants to be in good company. Such comparisons can impact how much investors are willing to pay for the stock.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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