Uber buys Middle Eastern competitor for $3.1bn

Ride hailing company expected to file in April for initial public offering

The acquisition will allow ride-hailing company to emphasise its global footprint relative to rival Lyft, which is expected to begin trading on Friday. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The acquisition will allow ride-hailing company to emphasise its global footprint relative to rival Lyft, which is expected to begin trading on Friday. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

 

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has cut the largest deal of his tenure, buying Middle Eastern ride-hailing competitor Careem Networks for $3.1 billion (€2.73 billion).

Uber will pay Dubai-based Careem $1.4 billion in cash and another $1.7 billion in convertible notes when the deal closes, the two companies said in a statement. They are seeking regulatory approval in the 15 countries where Careem operates. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

It comes as San Francisco-based Uber is preparing to file in April for an initial public offering. The acquisition isn’t expected to slow down Uber’s IPO process and will allow ride-hailing company to emphasise its global footprint relative to rival Lyft, which is expected to begin trading on Friday.

Regional competitors

The acquisition will be Uber’s priciest and will mark the first time the company bought one of its regional competitors. Uber has sold many international business units, including in China, Southeast Asia and Russia, taking stakes in Didi Chuxing, Grab and Yandex in the process. Another recent major purchase was electric bike company Jump Bikes. – Bloomberg