Egypt’s competition regulator, the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) has approved Uber’s acquisition of regional rival Careem after Uber’s agreement to comply with a set of commitments proposed by the ECA that will protect the rights of riders, drivers, investors, and reduce harm to competitors.
The $3.1 billion acquisition was first announced in March and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, most likely in January. The acquisition, consisting of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash, is expected to be a record for a tech startup exit in the Middle East and one of the highest for ride-hailing mergers and acquisitions, globally.
“We welcome the decision by the Egyptian Competition Authority to approve Uber’s pending acquisition of Careem. Uber and Careem joining forces will deliver exceptional outcomes for riders, drivers, and cities across Egypt,” a spokesperson for Uber said.
Uber is acquiring all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East, which includes operations in Morocco, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. At the close of the merger, Careem will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber but will preserve its brand and continue to operate independently with its co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha at the helm.