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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Potential Uber, Careem merger could be worth USD 2.5 bn

**#4 M&A WATCH- Potential Uber, Careem merger could be worth USD 2.5 bn: Uber is indeed in talks to acquire its Middle East ride-hailing rival Careem in a transaction expected to be worth as much as USD 2-2.5 bn, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Negotiations are ongoing and no final decisions have been made, and the companies may decide against the transaction, they said. Neither Uber or Careem have officially confirmed the reports.

Careem’s management is working to convince the firm’s shareholders of the merits of the buyout instead of going through an IPO, the business information service reports. Careem had held talks with investors earlier this year to raise USD 500 mn, potentially valuing the firm at about USD 1.5 bn ahead of a possible listing, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in May.

Is Egypt about to play to role spoiler? Earlier this month, the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) took the relatively unusual step of publicly warning Uber and Dubai-based Careem against a merger. The ECA has already come to the conclusion that any merger could be anti-competitive and publicly reminded the two companies that any merger or acquisition would accordingly require the agency’s signoff before being executed.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire: Bloomberg broke the merger talks in July, prompting both companies to issue denials. Careem had said at the time that it was close to closing a new funding round meant to “bolster its position as Uber’s largest competitor in a fast-growing market.”

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