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Uber looks to pick up Careem in $3 billion deal: sources

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc is set to offer over $3 billion to buy Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ, two sources familiar with the deal told Reuters, in a deal that will strengthen its operations in the Middle East.

he deal, which a third source said could be unveiled during the early part of this week, comes ahead of Uber’s planned initial public offering that may value the firm at $120 billion.

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Careem, founded in 2012, has a larger presence in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and Turkey operating in 98 cities there compared to Uber’s roughly 23 locations.

An Uber-Careem merger underscores the huge potential of car-hailing in the Middle East, but also the centrality of winning policy battles,

said Sam Blatteis, CEO at The MENA Catalysts.

Uber will pay $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes, which will be convertible into Uber shares at a price equal to $55 per share, Bloomberg bloom.bg/2OqVtpm had earlier reported, citing a term-sheet.

Careem declined comment while Uber did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters to comment.

Careem was estimated to be valued at $2 billion as of October.

Uber has been seeking to expand as it faces global competition in its core ride-hailing business that operates across 70 countries. Rivlas include Lyft Inc.

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