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Uber, Lyft Get IPO Feedback as Latest Shutdown Looms

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Uber, Lyft Get IPO Feedback as Latest Shutdown Looms

  • Ride-hailing companies are watching negotiations closely
  • Lawyer expects more confidential filings ahead of Friday
Bloomberg’s Eric Newcomer reports on the confidential IPO filings of Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc..

Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. have received initial feedback from the Securities and Exchange Commission about their confidential IPO filings, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move by the regulator -- which was shuttered for 35 days during the partial U.S. government shutdown -- puts the ball back in the companies’ court to submit new drafts for review, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the back-and-forth is private. Both Uber and Lyft are closely watching whether another shutdown will go ahead at the end of this week as they prepare for initial public offerings later this year, the people said.

The two ride-hailing companies filed confidentially with the regulator in December. Barring another shutdown, Lyft continues to target a March or April listing, a person familiar with the matter said. Bloomberg has previously reported that the company was considering that timing.

Representatives for Uber, Lyft and the SEC declined to comment.

Expectations are high for technology and gig-economy companies to enter the public markets this year. In addition to Uber and Lyft, Pinterest Inc., Slack Technologies Inc. and meal-delivery app Postmates Inc. add to a deep roster of candidates expected to go public by the end of 2019. Uber is the largest of the group and could command a valuation of as much as $120 billion, people familiar with the ride-hailing company’s plans have said.

Those plans could be affected if a further shutdown can’t be averted, said Elliot Lutzker, a former SEC lawyer at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP.

“Certainly another shutdown will create a backlog of paperwork,” Lutzker said. “In anticipation of a potential shutdown, I think we can expect to see more confidential filings this week.”

Negotiations to stave off another partial shutdown fell apart over the weekend as Democrats and Republicans continued to clash over border-security funding. The temporary stopgap funding that has kept federal departments open for the past few weeks is set to run out on Friday unless both sides can agree on a deal.

— With assistance by Benjamin Bain

(Updates with lawyer’s comment in sixth paragraph.)