Uber Technologies Inc. has reached an agreement in principle to sell most of its Southeast Asia operations to local rival Grab Inc., ending a costly fight for market share in the fast-growing region, according to people familiar with the matter.
In exchange for its operations in Southeast Asia, Uber would gain a roughly 30% stake in Grab, these people said. The two companies are still hashing out the final terms of the pact, the people said, cautioning any deal would be subject to regulatory scrutiny. One of the people said Uber’s stake in Grab could wind up being smaller.
Uber was spending some $200 million annually to take on Grab and another upstart in the region, PT Go-Jek Indonesia, two of the people said. Go-Jek, a motorcycle-taxi service based in Indonesia, recently raised more than $1 billion in funding from KKR & Co. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. 0700, +2.03% , among others.
A deal could relieve pressure on Uber’s new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, who is trying to shore up the company’s finances ahead of an expected 2019 initial public offering. Uber posted a net loss of $4.46 billion in 2017 on sales of $7.36 billion.
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