Tags: Buffett | Uber | Primack | ride-sharing

Fortune's Primack: Buffett Should Buy Controlling Stake in Uber

By    |   Friday, 12 December 2014 04:32 PM




You can add this to the holiday fantasy list: legendary investor Warren Buffett buying a controlling stake in ride-sharing company Uber.

The thriving online company has good reason to stay private and retain its ability to focus on the long term, says Fortune columnist Dan Primack.

"Only trouble is that Uber must eventually provide liquidity for its shareholders (both outside investors and vested employees)," he writes.

So what's the escape?

"Uber could remain private indefinitely by selling a control stake to Warren Buffett," Primack says. With a valuation of $40 billion, Uber certainly isn't too expensive for Buffett.

And that is actually a "value price, no matter how wide our collective eyes bulged when we first read it," Primack writes.

Of course, Buffett has shied away from technology companies for years, because he finds them difficult to understand.

But that's not a concern in Uber's case, Primack says. "It’s a business Buffett could understand. For all of its tech trappings, Uber is essentially a transportation company that eventually wants to expand into a localized, on-demand logistics company."

Meanwhile, talk of global dominance by Uber is a bit overdone, says Bloomberg View columnist Katie Benner.

"Uber pioneered the idea of getting transportation—instantly, effectively and predictably—from a smartphone," she writes. "But just because that's become routine for urban nomads in the U.S. doesn't mean that it will be the app of choice for passengers elsewhere around the globe."

Already, Uber has run into resistance in a variety of overseas markets, Benner says.

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You can add this to the holiday fantasy list: legendary investor Warren Buffett buying a controlling stake in ride-sharing company Uber.
Buffett, Uber, Primack, ride-sharing
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2014-32-12
Friday, 12 December 2014 04:32 PM
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