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Uber and Lyft IPO timing is left in limbo by partial government shutdown, sources say

Uber and Lyft IPO timing is left in limbo by partial government shutdown, sources say
Ride-hailing rivals Lyft and Uber are expected to have two of the year's biggest IPOs. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. have yet to receive feedback from the U.S. securities regulator on their confidential submissions for initial public offerings, people familiar with the matter said.

A partial government shutdown resulting from President Trump’s demand for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border has sapped the Securities and Exchange Commission of resources, delaying what is expected to be a busy year for IPOs.

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The San Francisco ride-hailing companies, likely to have two of the year’s biggest offerings, believe the shutdown could slow their public debuts depending on how long it takes for the SEC to reopen and how substantial the agency’s feedback is when it does, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans were private. Uber and Lyft had been targeting their IPOs for the first half of the year.

Spokesmen for Uber and Lyft declined to comment. In an emailed statement, the SEC wrote: “Prior to the shutdown taking effect, we encouraged filers to reach out to us to ask for acceleration of the effectiveness of pending registration statements, and we declared approximately a dozen registration statements effective.”

The U.S. shutdown has left hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed or instructed to work without pay. It’s poised to affect deals of all sizes. Eli Lilly & Co. said Tuesday that the SEC is creating “a problem” for the company’s plan to sell stock in a unit it spun off last year. Also on Tuesday, a pair of oil companies postponed the termination date of a $900-million merger, citing the shutdown.

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