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http://www.investors.com/news/techn...-linkedin-banker-to-haggle-deal-has-uber-won/



Lyft reportedly is looking at its strategic options, including possibly finding a buyer. (dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom)


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Ride-hailing app Lyft tapped the Silicon Valley matchmaker that wheeled Microsoft's (MSFT) $26.2 billion LinkedIn (LNKD) acquisition to help it raise funds or find a buyer, anonymous sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Qatalyst Partners founder and Executive Chairman Frank Quattrone, a well known Silicon Valley deal maker, has contacted companies, including carmakers, about acquiring a large stake in Lyft, the sources said. That stake could be a total takeover.

Qatalyst has nearly $190.5 billion in deals listed on its website since 2008, including $41.6 billion in pending deals. Notably, it helped broker the $10.6 billion acquisition of KLA-Tencor (KLAC) byLam Research (LRCX) and Microsemi's (MSCC) $2.5 billion PMC-Sierra buy against rival bidder Skyworks Solutions (SWKS).

Lyft, which declined comment to IBD, is Uber Technologies' largest U.S. rival but pales in size, according to Fortune's list of unicorns. Lyft was last valued at $5.5 billion vs. Uber's $62 billion valuation (likely near $68 billion now) and Didi Chuxing's $16 billion value.

Apple (AAPL)-backed Didi is giving Uber a greater run for its money in China, where Didi's ride-hailing app dominates in more than 400 cities to Uber's 60 cities. Didi's recent fundraising added $7 billion and includes infusions from Apple, Baidu (BIDU) and Tencent (TCEHY).

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Lyft's Qatalyst hire could mean it's seeking a sale or doubling down on its fundraising efforts against Uber. Recently, No. 1 carmaker General Motors (GM) invested $500 million for a 10%stake in Lyft -- a sixth of Lyft's total estimated value.

Toyota Motor (TM) bet an undisclosed amount on Uber, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) is said to be in talks with Uber to make autonomous vehicles. Fiat is also developing a self-driving minivan with Google (GOOGL) and has said it would partner with Apple.

Tesla Motors (TSLA), too, is grinding away on the self-driving car route and chipmakers likeNvidia (NVDA) and NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) are champing at the bit with autonomous driving platforms.

Other investments in this field include a $300 million investment by Volkswagen (VLKAY) in Israeli ride-hailing app Gett, and Google's expansion of its Waze app to test out a carpooling service in San Francisco.
 
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