There are indications that on demand taxi platform, Uber Technologies will be announcing a $3.1 billion cash-and-share deal to acquire its Dubai-based rival, Careem Networks this week.
According to Bloomberg, inside sources report that the U.S. ride-hailing giant will pay $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes (equal to $55 per share) for Careem.
The report also has it that Careem shareholders, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment firm and Japanese e-commerce company, Rakuten Inc., could agree to the terms of the transaction by Monday evening and a deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday.
However, Uber spokesperson, Matt Kallman is yet to confirm the deal.
Why the deal?
This development comes ahead of Uber’s expected Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange in April. According to commentators, the anticipated listing could value the company for as much as $120 Billion, one of the NYSE’s biggest ever offerings. Careem would certainly be a good addition to the value of the company.
Similarly, this move will also aid Uber’s in-road to the Middle-East. According to Bloomberg, “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.”
How much is Careem really worth?
Careem was valued at about $1 billion in a 2016 funding round. This made it one of the most valuable technology startups in the Middle East. Analysts have noted that the company is expected to have doubled in value over the span of 3 years.
According to its website, Careem has over a million drivers and operates in more than 90 cities in 15 countries (Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE).