Matthew Martin, Dinesh Nair and Nour Al Ali March 24, 2019, 9:55 PM GMT+8 Updated on March 25, 2019, 12:00 PM GMT+8 This post is originally...
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Uber Technologies Inc. is set to announce a $3.1 billion cash-and-share deal to acquire its Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ as early as this week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The U.S. ride-hailing giant will pay $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes for Careem, the people said, asking not to identified because the talks are private. The notes will be convertible into Uber shares at a price equal to $55 per share, according to the term-sheet seen by Bloomberg.

Shareholders in Careem, whose backers include Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment firm and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc., have been asked to agree to the terms of the transaction by Monday evening and a deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday, the people said.

Uber spokesman Matt Kallman declined to comment while a spokesman for Careem wasn’t immediately able to comment.

Read more: Uber Is Said to Pick New York Stock Exchange for 2019 Mega IPO

Mideast Startup

Careem was valued at about $1 billion in a 2016 funding round, making it one of the most valuable technology startups in the Middle East. The company has over a million drivers and operates in more than 90 cities in 15 countries, according to its website.

For Uber, a deal would signal its commitment to the Middle East, where one of its biggest investors — a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund — is based.

The acquisition would also be a departure in strategy for Uber, which has used such deals to offload costly overseas operations in exchange for stakes in competitors in the past.

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