Uber is preparing to sell it Southeast Asian operations to Grab

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REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies is preparing to sell its Southeast Asia ride-hailing business to Singapore-based Grab in return for a substantial stake in the company, CNBC reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Grab provides private car, motorbike, taxi and carpooling services in more than 100 cities across Southeast Asia. The company claimed to have 95 percent market share in taxi ride-hailing when it announced plans to raise more than $2.5 billion from SoftBank and other investors in 2017.

Reuters reported in November that SoftBank Group’s multi-billion dollar investment in Uber had opened up the possibility of combining it with other ride-hailing assets that the Japanese group owns.

CNBC reports that the move would mimic Uber’s strategy in China, where the company sold its ride-hailing operation to Didi for 20 percent ownership, and Russia, where the company merged its local business with Yandex’s ride-hailing business for a 37 percent stake. The objective would be to help Uber reel in its costs in preparation for an IPO as soon as next year, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the discussions are confidential.

No deal has been reached yet and the timing of any deal is uncertain, the report said.

Uber declined to comment on the report.

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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