Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing firm, Grab, is in advanced negotiations to buy parts of Uber Technologies Inc’s business in the region in what would be Uber’s second retreat from an Asian market.
A multi-billion dollar funding of Uber in January by SoftBank Group, already one of Grab’s main investors, had opened up the possibility of a consolidation with Grab.
Singapore-headquartered Grab’s potential agreement with Uber would be similar to the one struck in China in 2016, when Didi Chuxing bought out Uber’s China business and gave a stake in return, said the source, who declined to be identified as the talks are private.
As part of the Southeast Asia deal, Uber will get a stake in Grab, said a source with knowledge of the talks, who declined to provide financial details.
Though Uber expects to lose money in Southeast Asia, the company will continue to invest aggressively in the region, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during a visit to India last month.
Grab operates private car, motorcycle, taxi and carpooling services across eight countries with more than 2.3 million drivers. It has expanded into digital payment services.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Grab was close to finalising a deal to acquire Uber’s business in certain markets in Southeast Asia and may sign a deal this week or next, citing people familiar with the matter.
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