Uber to buy Middle East ride-sharing rival Careem for $3.1 billion

Uber has reached a deal to acquire ride-hailing competitor Careem for $3.1 billion, the companies announced Tuesday.

Dubai-based Careem, founded in 2012, claims more than 30 million registered users and sells car-hailing services in 120 cities across North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, from Morocco to Pakistan.

The companies characterized the deal as the biggest-ever technology industry transaction in the greater Middle East. Read CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s email to staff explaining the decision to buy Careem here.

The announcement comes as Uber approaches a much-anticipated initial public offering that reports have said could value the firm at as much as $120 billion. It is expected to be one of the biggest tech IPOs in history.

The acquisition, which remains subject to regulatory approval, consists of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash. It is expected the close in the first quarter of 2020, the companies said.

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