Ride-hailing firm Grab buys Uber’s SE Asia operations

Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab announced Monday it has bought US rival Uber’s business in Southeast Asia, ending a fierce battle for market share in the region.

Grab said in a statement it is buying Uber’s ride-sharing and food delivery operations in the region. In exchange, Uber will receive a 27.5 percent stake in Grab.

The statement did not disclose the value of the deal.

“Today’s acquisition marks the beginning of a new era,” said Grab chief executive Anthony Tan. “The combined business is the leader in platform and cost efficiency in the region.”

Grab and Uber were locked for years in a turf war in the region of about 650 million people with an increasingly affluent middle class.

But Grab, which operates in 195 cities in eight Southeast Asian countries, became the dominant force in ride-hailing, leaving its troubled US rival struggling.

The sale is Uber’s latest withdrawal from a market where the ride-sharing titan had faced fierce competition, as new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi seeks to stem huge losses and move past a series of scandals.

After a fierce battle, Uber sold its China operations to rival Didi Chuxing in 2016 in return for a stake, and last year the US firm merged in Russia with the taxi-hailing app of internet giant Yandex.

The deal with Grab is similar to the one struck with Didi.

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