Uber acquires Mideast competitor Careem for $3.1-billion

Uber app
Uber app

Ride-hailing service Uber says it has acquired its Mideast competitor Careem for $3.1-billion, making it the largest-ever technology purchase in the region.

Uber said in a prepared statement on Tuesday that the $3.1-billion consists of $1.7-billion in convertible notes and $1.4-billion in cash. The deal will make Careem a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, operating as an independent company under the Careem brand and led by its original founders.

Dubai-based Careem is among the Middle East's most successful startups. Careem is popular across the Middle East in part because it introduced the option for riders to pay by cash rather than just credit card.

Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement the purchase expands the US-based company's strength around the world.

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