Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, Reuters reports, citing a statement from the two firms.
The deal is Uber’s second retreat from Asia after the San Francisco-based company sold its China business to Didi Chuxing in return for a stake in the latter.
It also marks the industry’s first big consolidation in Southeast Asia, and puts pressure on rivals such as Indonesia’s Go-Jek, backed by Alphabet Inc’s Google and China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. (00700.HK), the news agency said.
As part of the transaction, Uber will take a 27.5 percent stake in Singapore-based Grab and Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab’s board.
“It will help us double down on our plans for growth as we invest heavily in our products and technology,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement.
Expectations of consolidation in Asia’s fiercely competitive ride-hailing industry were stoked earlier this year when Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. made a multibillion-dollar investment in Uber.
SoftBank is also one of the main investors in several of Uber’s rivals, including Grab, Didi Chuxing, and India’s Ola.
Updated; last reported at 8:44 a.m.
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