Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, the firms said in a statement on Monday, marking the USA company's second retreat from an Asian market.
Grab has acquired Uber's operations in South-East Asia, ending speculation over the weekend that a deal had been reached between the two ride-hailing giants.
"Didi fully supports Grab's acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asian operations, and looks forward to continuing a long-term relationship with Grab as a strategic investor", a Didi representative told Caixin. He did not want to be identified as the deal is not public yet.
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Khosrowshahi said Uber has invested $700 million in Southeast Asia since it began operating in Singapore about five years ago. The San Francisco-based company sold its Chinese arm to local etaxi giant Didi Chuxing in a $35 billion deal back in 2016, which was followed by a merger with Yandex.taxi in Eastern Europe a year ago.
As part of the deal, Uber will take a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab, while Uber's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab's board. There is yet to be news on how Uber users in the Philippines will be shuffled to Grab.
The deal represents another major retreat from worldwide markets for Uber, following its withdrawal from China in 2016 and Russian Federation in 2017.
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Grab said it plans to expand its food delivery business to Singapore and Malaysia after integrating it with Uber Eats. The value of the deal has not been disclosed yet.
The company's full-year net loss widened to $4.5 billion in 2017 as it endured multiple scandals and the departure of its co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick. Khosrowshahi said that it will assist us in dueling down on our suggestions for expansion as we expend deliberately in the products and technology to generate the supreme customer experience on the planet. Grab, which has more than 86 million mobile app downloads, now offers services in more than 190 cities across Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Grab's chief executive Anthony Tan said the acquisition marks the beginning of a new era. In Russia, it agreed to merge its ride-hailing business in the country with Yandex, a local search-engine leader that also runs a popular taxi-booking app. Last year, Uber merged in Russian Federation with the taxi-hailing app of internet giant Yandex.
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