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Lyft move to sell itself got little traction: reports

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The on-demand ride company Lyft recently made moves to sell itself but the effort got little traction, the New York Times reported on Friday.

[SAN FRANCISCO] The on-demand ride company Lyft recently made moves to sell itself but the effort got little traction, the New York Times reported on Friday.

The San Francisco-based startup in recent months held talks and approached an array of companies, including technology giants Amazon, Apple, and Google as well as US rival Uber and Chinese ally Didi Chuxing, the Times said in a story based on a dozen anonymous sources who knew of the private discussions.

The most serious talks were reported to have taken place with US auto maker General Motors, which invested US$500 million in Lyft early this year as part of a vision to have self-driving cars at the ride-sharing service, but they did not result in a written offer.

No buyer was found, according to the Times.

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"There is no shortage of conflicting rumors in our industry and we are not commenting on them," Lyft said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

Part of the trouble luring a buyer was price. Lyft was valued at US$5.5 billion in a January funding round that included GM and the selling price would be expected to be more than that amount, according to the Times.

Lyft's inability to find a buyer illustrates the challenge of operating in the competitive market built on enabling people to summon rides from freelancing motorists using smartphones, handling the business side of transactions in the internet cloud.

Uber threw in the towel in China earlier this month after a costly battle, selling is subsidiary there to Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing.

In exchange for Uber China assets, Uber and its Chinese partners received a 20 percent stake in the new Didi Chuxing entity.

News of an effort to sell Lyft could risk destabilising its alliances made in Asia to better compete there.

AFP

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