Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said on Tuesday the company was looking sell stakes in what it considers non-strategic investments in other companies, including Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global.
Speaking at a virtual fireside chat with a UBS analyst, Khosrowshahi said many of the companies in which Uber has a stake have recently gone public and are still subject to a lock-up period.
While Khosrowshahi said Uber would continue to hold some stakes for strategic reasons, it was looking to sell many including Didi.
“Our Didi stake we don’t believe is strategic,” he said. “They’re a competitor, China is a pretty difficult environment with very little transparency.”
Khosrowshahi said the company was in no rush to sell the shares. “Those kinds of stakes we look to monetise smartly over time,” he said. Uber shares rose 4.3% to close at $37.26 after Khosrowshahi’s remarks.
‘Best Week Ever’
He also said Uber last week had its best week ever in terms of company-wide gross bookings at its ride-hail and food delivery operations. But overall, ride-hail trips remained around 10% below pre-pandemic levels, Khosrowshahi said.
Uber had roughly $13.1 billion tied up in investments in other companies as of the end of the third quarter, including $4.1 billion in Didi.
The Chinese ride hailing company recently began its withdrawal from the New York Stock Exchange to pursue a Hong Kong listing – a stunning about-face as it bends to Chinese regulators angered by its US IPO.
Guy Foster, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin, said share selling has accelerated as the prospect of delisting in the USA and relisting in China has been raised, specifically by Didi.
“The shares seem overly concerned about a re-listing that should have little fundamental impact on the companies,” he noted.
“However, the long-term outlook is challenging for Chinese tech platforms, which are now expected to contribute towards common prosperity in China.”
- Reuters, with George Russell