saudi arabia's sovereign wealth fund invested privately in Uber nearly three years ago. It's stake, inspite of Uber's IPO, is still worth less now than at the time of purchase. | Source: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Uber IPO Smacks Saudi Wealth Fund with $200 Million Loss

By CCN: The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) was one of the first believers in Uber, ponying up billions of dollars to invest in it back in 2018.

Now that the ride-sharing company has finally gone public, the fund stands to be one of the biggest losers. The fund bought in at $48.77 a share, far higher than Uber’s debut price of $42. At the time of writing Friday, Uber shares were fluctuating between about $42 and $45.

Uber IPO Leaves Mighty Wake

The Saudi Arabian fund, which is the country’s main investment fund, sank $3.5 billion into Uber in exchange for shares and options. Fortune pointed out Friday. During the hours after Uber’s stock began trading, its stake fell to about $3.3 billion, which means a loss of about $201.5 million.

According to Forbes, the fund is not planning to liquidate any of its shares in the IPO.

There has been plenty of banter comparing the Uber IPO to the Lyft IPO, which was held xxx. The managing director of the PIF, Yasir Othman Al-Rumayy, said there’s no comparison.

To CNBC last week, he said:

“Uber is totally different than Lyft. Of course it’s a ride sharing company, but it’s a ride sharing company not only in the U.S. but all over the world.”

He’s also encouraged by Uber bringing new services, such as freight.

SoftBank, Uber’s largest shareholder, invested more than $7 billion in the company in 2017 through its Vision Fund.

Uber’s lower-priced IPO affected its stock price. They’d fallen about 5.5% on Friday, according to Reuters.

Uber IPO Highlights Risks

Many analysts warned people to steer clear of Uber’s IPO. The $1.8 billion in losses it acknowledged, as well as the likelihood it won’t turn a profit any time soon were reasons.

It seemed that Uber’s market makers were having a tough time before the stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

When it filed its IPO papers last month, it set the price between $44 and $50 per share. That gave it a valuation of about $75.46 billion. That’s magnificently lower than the $120 billion valuation that had been pegged on Uber when it first announced it was going public.

It fixed the price at $45 Thursday evening, CCN reported. As the hours ticked by Friday morning, the price range continued to be lowered; the price was set at $42.

In early trading, it seemed the stock was getting defended at that $42 opening price.

Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners weighed in on the IPO shortly after it priced. On CNBC, he said:

“Early signs were that the allocations went disportionately to retail already. I don’t know if you can count on retail investors being excited about buying it below the IPO price because I think many of them got allocations, and possibly bigger allocations, than what they were expecting. [People] should pay really close attention to where the interest is.”