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Grab in advanced talks to buy into Uber's Southeast Asia business - source

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

By Anshuman and Aravindan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing firm, Grab, is in advanced negotiations to buy parts of Uber Technologies Inc's business in the region, said a source with knowledge of the talks, in what would be Uber's second retreat from an Asian market.

Ride-hailing companies have been offering heavy discounts and promotions in Southeast Asia, a region of about 640 million people, to attract both riders and drivers.

To fund their expansion plans, both and Uber have raised billions of dollars from global investors.

A multi-billion dollar funding in Uber in January by SoftBank Group, already one of Grab's main investors, had opened up the possibility of a consolidation with

Grab's deal with Uber would be similar to the one struck in in 2016, when bought out Uber's business and gave a stake in return, said the source, who declined to be identified as the talks are private.

As part of the deal in Southeast Asia, Uber will get a stake in Grab, which has an estimated valuation of about $6 billion.

During a visit to last month, Uber pledged to continue investing aggressively in even though the U.S. ride hailing firm expects to lose money in the fast growing market.

declined to comment on the story while Uber did not immediately respond to Reuters' queries.

reported on Thursday that Grab was close to finalising a deal to acquire Uber's business in certain markets in and may sign a deal this week or next, citing people familiar with the matter.

(Reporting by Anshuman and Aravindan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 14:30 IST