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March 18, 2019 10:30 AM, EDT

Lyft Aims for Valuation Near $20 Billion in Biggest US IPO

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg News

Lyft Inc. is seeking to raise as much as $2.1 billion in its initial public offering, valuing the firm at almost $20 billion.

The No. 2 U.S. ride-hailing giant is offering 30.8 million shares at $62 to $68 each, it said in a regulatory filing March 18. At the top of that range, and including a potential overallotment of shares to investors, the market valuation would reach $19.6 billion, based on the total numbers of shares outstanding after the IPO as detailed in the filing.

At the targeted range, the San Francisco-based company’s offering will be the biggest from a tech upstart since Snap Inc. went public two years ago, and the largest in the U.S. so far this year after the partial U.S. government shutdown put a damper on first-quarter listings.

Including the money Lyft is expecting to raise from the IPO as well as some likely dilution of shares, the total valuation of the company could be $21 billion to $23 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. Lyft had earlier been aiming for a valuation of $20 billion to $25 billion.

The filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission puts Lyft further ahead in its race to go public with Uber Technologies Inc., the world’s biggest ride-hailing company. Uber has filed confidentially with the SEC and intends to make its listing plans public in April, according to people familiar with the matter. Smaller startups, including Postmates Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc., are also considering listings.

Uber could be valued at as much as $120 billion in an IPO, people familiar with its plans have said previously, likely making its offering one of the top five of all time.

Lyft warned in its filing that expenses are likely to increase and that it may not be able to “achieve or maintain profitability in the future.” While Uber is pursuing food and freight delivery, scooters, electric bikes and even flying cars, Lyft remains focused on transportation, including bikes and scooters.

The new filing spells out how much of Lyft will be controlled by co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer once the company is public. The two will be issued Class B shares, which will equal the voting rights of 20 ordinary shares.

The offering is being led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and Jefferies Financial Group Inc., with more than two dozen other banks participating. Lyft has applied to list shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “LYFT.”