Uber buyout by Grab in Southeast Asia on Revu Philippines

Uber agrees to sell Southeast Asia operations to Grab

In Business by Alora Uy GuerreroLeave a Comment

It has long been rumored that Grab is in talks with Uber Technologies Inc. for a deal that could see the latter exiting yet another major market. Today, news agency Bloomberg says that Uber “has reached an agreement to sell its Southeast Asian ride-hailing business to rival Grab.”

(Update, March 26: It’s confirmed! Uber is selling its Southeast Asia business to Grab in exchange for a 27.5% stake in the combined company. Read its full statement here. We’ve updated the title to reflect this development.)

According to this report, people familiar with the matter claim that the development could be announced even as early as next week.

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The deal would see Uber handing over its operations in Southeast Asia to Singapore-based Grab. Included supposedly in the buyout is Uber Eats, the American company’s online food-ordering-and-delivery platform.

The report further says that the agreement will allow Uber to have a stake of between 25 percent and 30 percent in the new combined business. Grab and Uber representatives declined to comment, however.

The deal with Grab will reportedly allow Uber to have a stake of between 25 percent and 30 percent in the new combined business.

We won’t be surprised if this is true. Grab has been the more dominant ride-hailing service in the region, with presence in more than 190 cities across Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Its growth in downloads in 2017 was double that of Uber’s, according to data from App Annie. Its app downloads currently stands at more than 86 million.

Grab’s growth in app downloads in 2017 was double that of Uber’s. It currently stands at more than 86 million. 

The last time Uber retreated from a major international market was right before then-Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi succeeded founder Travis Kalanick as chief executive, when it agreed to merge with Yandex NV in Russia in July 2017. Before that, it sold its Chinese business to Didi Chuxing Technology Co. in August 2016 in exchange for a 17.5 percent stake in China’s No. 1 ride-hailing service.

Uber has reportedly spent $10.7 billion of the $17.3 billion it received from investors in the nine years since it was founded. An exit from markets like Southeast Asia could boost the profits of a company that’s preparing for an initial public offering in 2019.

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Alora Uy Guerrero

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Editor-in-chief: Alora Uy Guerrero has 22 years of experience as an editor for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. She took time off journalism to manage OPPO’s digital-marketing campaigns. When not busy with her babies, she’s working on Revü, a passion project — or probably traveling or obsessing over her favorite bands, movies, TV shows, and basketball teams.