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Report: Lyft Hires IPO Advisor


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Lyft Inc. has hired Class V Group to help plan for an initial public stock offering, sources tell Bloomberg News.

The ride-hailing company is expected to begin talks with potential underwriters as early as next month and aims to tender an IPO by April, according to the news service. Lyft declines to comment, except to say a “variety of factors” will determine if and when the company goes public.

Earlier this week rival Uber Technologies Inc. said it is on track to launch an IPO in the second half of 2019. Bloomberg notes that the close timing of the two deals will increase competition for financing—banks can’t underwrite IPOs for two direct competitors—and boost market valuation.

Lyft recently raised $600 million in a financing round led by Fidelity Management & Research Co. The company also is considered to have strong ties with Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley.

Despite recent stumbles, Uber still is valued at about five times more than Lyft ($76 billion vs. $15.1 billion). Toyota invested $500 million in Uber earlier this month.

 Lyft also has partnered with several carmakers, but its relationship with General Motors has soured somewhat since the carmaker invested $500 million in the startup two years ago. Plans for GM to supply discounted vehicles to Lyft drivers and other collaborative plans never materialized, and GM President Dan Ammann resigned from the ride-hailing company’s board of directors in June.

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