Uber sells chunk of business to Grab

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In a move set to mark the U.S. company's second retreat from an Asian market, Uber has agreed to sell its South-East Asian operations to Singapore-based rival Grab, it said today.

More consolidation Uber anticipated making more deals with rivals, but said it had no plans to do another sale in which it consolidates its operations in exchange for a minority stake in a rival. He did not want to be identified as the deal is not public yet.

The US company is selling its business in the region to local rival Grab, the companies said in a statement Monday.

A man wearing a t-shirt with the Grab branding on it talks on his cellphone between Grab and Uber offices during lunch hour Monday
Uber's merger with Grab in Southeast Asia lets it focus on core markets elsewhere

Uber in turn will receive a 27.5 per cent stake in a combined entity and its chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi will join the board of the Singapore-based company.

Grab will purchase Uber's ride-hailing and food delivery operations in the region in a deal valued at several billion dollars, according to a person familiar with the acquisition who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. That means commuters will still be able to use the separate apps of Uber and Grab for two more weeks. Grab currently operates in eight Asian markets - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar - and it's in these regions that Uber is now ceding control to its rival.

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"Today's acquisition marks the beginning of a new era", said Grab chief executive Anthony Tan.

The move will free up capital to execute on Uber's growth plans in core markets like North America, Latin America, India and Europe and invest in engineering and product development, they said.

Grab has been seeking to dominate the regional market for vehicle and motorbike hailing and has expanded into other areas, recently announcing plans to partner with a Japanese credit card company to provide credit to millions of people without bank accounts.

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"It is fair to ask whether consolidation is now the strategy of the day, given this is the third deal of its kind, from China to Russian Federation and now Southeast Asia". The merging of Uber Eats will further give Grab an advantage over Go-Jek, which also has a vast range of services apart from ride hailing.

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