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In an effort to increase its user-base across the world, Uber is preparing a $3.1 billion deal with Careem Networks FZ to acquire the Middle East ride-sharing company. For those unfamiliar with Careem, it is a Dubai-based ride-sharing app that is much like Uber or Grab but is immensely popular in places like the UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, and Pakistan. Careem has been one of the fastest growing startups in the Middle East and in 2016 they were valued at $1 billion. With more than a million drivers, Careem operates in over 90 cities in 15 countries.
Of the $3.1 billion that will be paid to acquire Careem, $1.4 billion will be in cash while the other $1.7 billion will be in convertible notes. It has been reported that the notes can be converted into Uber shares when the price is equal to $55.
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The deal could be announced as early as Tuesday if Careem’s shareholders Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment firm and Rakuten Inc., the Japanese e-commerce company, agree to the transaction terms before the end of today.
This is huge news for Uber as they prepare to be one of the biggest listings ever on the New York Stock Exchange with their upcoming IPO in April. Many sources believe that Uber will be valued at $120 billion once they go public. Possibly this new acquisition by Uber could increase their market evaluation to over $120 billion.