By Natasha Bach
July 4, 2018

Uber is reportedly in early talks with another overseas competitor to merge their services. But this time, it plans to do the merger differently.

The ride-hailing app is discussing a merger of its Middle Eastern operations with the market’s major competitor, Careem, in order to “resolve a costly rivalry,” reports Bloomberg, in preparation for Uber’s planned IPO next year.

While its U.S. operations have boomed, Uber’s operations in other parts of the world have not always gone accordingly to plan—Uber threw in the towel in China in 2016, when it swapped its operations there for an ownership stake in competitor Didi Chuxing, and in March it sold its southeast Asian operations to Grab.

This time, Uber is looking for a different deal, Bloomberg reports. While the structure of the deal has not yet been nailed down, the two companies have discussed a number of options. To avoid similar difficulties it faced in previous mergers, Uber has reportedly said that it will need to own more than half of the combined company if not own it outright.

There are several proposed arrangements, including one in which Careem’s leadership would continue to manage day-to-day operations of the combined business. Another possible option includes a full acquisition of Careem by Uber.

Careem is a heavy-hitter in the Middle East and North Africa, operating in over 70 cities across 10 countries. It is the leading ride-hailing app in many of these cities and is in talks with investors to raise $500 million, reports Bloomberg, which could put the company’s value at about $1.5 billion.

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