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Uber Acquires Careem Its Top Middle East Rival in a $3.1 Billion Deal

Uber and Careem have reached an agreement for Uber to acquire Careem for $3.1 billion, consisting of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash. The acquisition of Careem is subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 and would be the largest-ever technology industry transaction made in the greater Middle East region.

Uber will acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the Middle East region ranging from Morocco to Pakistan, with major markets included such as Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

“Joining forces with Uber will help us accelerate Careem's purpose of simplifying and improving the lives of people, and building an awesome organisation that inspires. The mobility and broader internet opportunity in the region is massive and untapped, and has the potential to leapfrog our region into the digital future,”​ said Careem CEO and co-founder, Mudassir Sheikha in a statement.

Careem will become a subsidiary of Uber but will keep its own brand. Sheikha will lead the Careem business, reporting to its own board made up of three representatives from Uber and two representatives from Careem. Careem and Uber will operate their respective regional services and independent brands.

“This is an important moment for Uber as we continue to expand the strength of our platform around the world. With a proven ability to develop innovative local solutions, Careem has played a key role in shaping the future of urban mobility across the Middle East, becoming one of the most successful startups in the region,” ​said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement.

Careem was founded in July 2012 and operates in 120 cities across 15 countries.

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