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Report: Goldman is doing Uber deal for free

December 3, 2014, 7:17 PM UTC
Large stack of Cash
Photograph by Adrianna Williams — Getty Images

On Monday we reported that Uber had hired Goldman Sachs (GS) to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from the bank’s wealthiest clients, via a private placement of convertible debt.

This afternoon, Fox Business reporter Charlie Gasparino reported that Goldman Sachs is doing the deal “basically for free,” in order to put itself in better position to lead Uber’s eventual IPO.

No real surprise here, as the fees Goldman is giving up pale in comparison to what it could make not only by underwriting Uber’s IPO, but also by managing any secondary stock offerings or M&A activity (the latter of which Uber has assiduously avoided, so far). It also doesn’t hurt that Goldman already is an existing Uber shareholder, while the best other investment banks like Morgan Stanley and Citigroup can do is say that they are Uber customers.

All of that said, I’m not seeing any indication yet that Uber is actually prepping an IPO (which is different from saying that Wall Street aren’t prepping for it). Gasparino seems to think that it could be coming sometime in 2015, but all indications I hear is that it would be a bit further down the road.

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