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Report: Uber mulls autonomous car unit spinoff, increases debut bond offering

Uber Technologies Inc. is considering a spinoff of its Advanced Technologies Group business unit after receiving expressions of interest from investors, the Financial Times (London) reported Oct. 17, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Uber, which is expected to launch an initial public offering by early 2019, may accept minority stake investments to finance its self-driving car division, sources reportedly said. The company would retain majority ownership and operational control over Advanced Technologies Group but share the cost of developing and commercializing the technology with external investors.

The report added that the subsidiary, which a source said burns through at least $500 million each year, has caused division among Uber investors, especially after a self-driving car killed a woman in March.

The ride-hailing company reportedly declined to comment on the possible spinoff.

Uber's food delivery business, Uber Eats, has also attracted interest from potential minority stake investors, the report added, citing another person familiar with the matter.

Separately, the company increased the size of its first bond offering to $2 billion from $1.5 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Sources reportedly said the offer now comprises $1.5 billion of eight-year bonds, priced at 8%, and $500 million of five-year securities priced at 7.5%.

The increase comes after Uber received more than $3 billion of orders in total for the private placement, the report said.