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August 22, 2016

Lyft calls out Uber’s ‘unsavoury tactics’, says company is not for sale

News: Uber reportedly told investors that it would not pay more than $2bn for its ride-hailing rival.

By Ellie Burns

Following reports that Lyft was looking for prospective buyers, Uber reportedly told investors that it is not willing to pay more than $2bn to acquire its main US ride-hailing rival.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Uber didn't make a formal offer for Lyft, with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick saying privately that he would oppose such a deal due to the intense regulatory scrutiny the company would then be subjected to.

However, even if Uber did make an offer, the $2bn bid would fall far short of the $9bn asking price Lyft is supposedly seeking in a buyout deal. Recode reported that Lyft set the huge buyout price but failed to secure serious interest.

However, Lyft has hit back at these reports, with sources close to the company calling out Uber's 'unsavoury tactics' and stating that the firm is not for sale.

Speaking to The Verge, the Lyft spokesperson said: "The Bloomberg report is a classic example of Uber using unsavory tactics in an attempt to impact our business. Lyft is not for sale, we are on a fully funded path to profitability."

Lyft has reportedly been courting buyout offers, with automaker General Motors (GM) carrying out informal negotiations in the last few months. This followed GM's $500m investment in the company which gave the ide-hailing startup a valuation of $5.5bn.

Apart from Uber and GM, Lyft reportedly held informal talks with Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing.

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Lyft has been spending millions of dollars to attract as many as customers and compete with the likes of Uber.

The spending includes free discount giveaways, $50 Lyft ride vouchers and also giant billboards at prominent places and bus stops.

Citing a person familiar with the matter said, Bloomberg reported that Lyft presently has $1.4bn in cash, giving it time to continue to fight independently.

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