Uber, Lyft to offer drivers shares in stock market listing: WSJ

February 28, 2019

(Reuters) – Ride-hailing firms Uber and Lyft plan to offer cash bonuses to some of its most-active or longest-serving drivers along with the chance to put them into shares from their long-awaited stock market launches, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The newspaper said Uber Technologies Inc was planning such awards for a “significant” portion of its 3 million drivers, with the costs likely to run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Under Lyft Inc’s plans, drivers who have completed at least 10,000 rides on the platform will get $1,000 and those who have logged 20,000 rides as much as $10,000, the paper said.

They would then be able to use the money to buy shares in its initial public offering at the initial offer price widely expected to happen this year, it quoted people familiar with the matter as saying.

The terms mean only a minority of Lyft drivers would qualify, the report said.

Uber declined to comment and Lyft did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment.

A number of media outlets have reported over the past two years that Uber was looking at giving shares to drivers but has faced resistance from regulators because they are classed as contractors rather than employees.

Wall Street analysts have estimated Lyft could be valued at between $20 billion and $30 billion in the IPO, and Uber at around $120 billion.

Shares in high-profile companies often surge immediately after debuting, offering those who subscribe for the first round of shares the chance of a bigger payday.

Lyft’s roadshow is expected to launch during the week of March 18, Reuters reported earlier this month.

(Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru)

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