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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Careem in talks with adviser on potential Uber merger

M&A WATCH- Uber, Careem merger talks appear to be in advanced stages despite Egyptian Competition Authority warning: Dubai-based ride-hailing operator Careem is using investment bank Jefferies as an advisor on a potential merger with Uber, three inside sources told Reuters. The news suggests Careem and Uber are ignoring a sharp warning from Egypt’s competition watchdog last month that the companies could face fines up to EGP 500 mn apiece if they were to follow through with the merger. Two of the sources pointed out to the newswire that appointing the investment bank to advise on the potential merger with Uber may signal that talks have entered a “serious” stage.

Background: A warning from the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) had said that the merger would be anticompetitive. The move came as the ECA has sought expanded powers to sign off on M&A worth more than EGP 100 mn. Both companies denied reports in July that Uber was in talks to acquire Careem, but Bloomberg revealed in September that talks were ongoing over the potential merger, which could be worth as much as USD 2-2.5 bn.

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