Uber Technologies is in discussions to buy its UAE-based rival Careem Networks, people familiar with the matter said, Bloomberg reported. A deal could value Careem at USD 2 billion to USD 2.5 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Negotiations continue and Careem’s management is working to convince the firm’s shareholders of the merits of a deal, the people said, but no final decisions have been made.
The companies have discussed several potential deal structures and under one of them, Careem’s current leaders would manage the new combined business while retaining one or both of the companies’ local brands, and another proposal would be Uber acquiring the Middle East ride-hailing app, the report added. In discussions with Careem, Uber has said that it would need to own more than half of the combined company, if not buy Careem outright, according to the report.
Careem has more than a million drivers and operates in more than 100 cities in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Palestine, Iraq and Sudan, according to its website. The app lets customers book rides on cars, bikes, golf carts, boats and rickshaws as well as schedule deliveries.