Uber will not pay more than $2bn for ride-hailing rival Lyft

Lyft is gauging interest from prospective buyers and at one time mooted $9m

Uber app: Uber had previously considered buying Lyft in 2014, and the two San Francisco companies have discussed the prospect informally, a source said. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

As Lyft was gauging interest from prospective acquirers, executives from Uber Technologies told investors in the past few weeks that the company wouldn't pay more than $2 billion (€1.7bn) to buy its main US ride-hailing competitor, sources said .

Uber didn't make a formal offer, sources said. Uber had previously considered buying Lyft as far back as 2014, and the two San Francisco companies have discussed the prospect informally, one of the sources said. Despite executives floating the $2 billion price tag, Uber chief executive officer Travis Kalanick has said privately that he would not support such a deal because he believes it would face intense regulatory scrutiny, the source said.

Regardless, Lyft wouldn’t consider $2 billion to be a credible offer, said another source.

It was reported on Friday that Lyft sought as much as $9 billion but failed to secure serious interest. As fierce rivals, Uber has every incentive to downplay Lyft’s value to investors and has done so in the past. Lyft and Uber declined to comment.


General Motors

An investment from General Motors early this year valued Lyft at $5.5 billion. GM and Lyft have held informal discussions about an acquisition in the past few months, sources said. GM suggested a price of at least $5.5 billion, but the talks never amounted to a formal offer, the sources said. The


, a technology website, reported last week that Lyft rebuffed an approach from GM. The car company declined to comment.

Lyft has been working with Qatalyst Partners to solicit interest from potential acquirers, sources said. In addition to Uber and GM, Lyft held informal talks with Alphabet, Amazon. com , Apple and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, sources said.

Last month, Didi said it will acquire Uber’s China business after a costly, two-year battle. The deal is expected to breeze past Chinese regulators, which approved a merger last year of Uber’s two largest competitors there.

The antitrust environment in the US is far different. Competition between Uber and Lyft has made rides more affordable for Americans. Lyft has managed to claw market share away from Uber in major US cities this year, but at significant financial cost.

Lyft currently has $1.4 billion in cash, a source said. That gives the company time to continue fighting independently.

– Bloomberg