Less than a year after the ride-hailing company rolled out in Sudan, Careem has concluded its operations in the country, with a planned takeover by Uber on the horizon. The firm started its Sudan operations in September 2018 following the lifting of economic sanctions by the United States in 2017, Reuters reported.
A spokesperson said in a statement, “There are no plans to close any other markets, and ceasing Sudan operations will not have any effect on Careem’s other markets.” In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, Uber said it expected the company to divest its Sudan operations prior to the closing of the takeover. Not many global companies have come into Sudan following the lifting of economic sanctions by the United States.
At the same time, it was noted that the country has experienced instability since the breakout of protests in December. A top U.S. State Department official said last week, following an assault on protestors at the beginning of June in Khartoum, that Washington was mulling all possibilities, including the possibility of sanctions in the event of more violence. However, the report noted that ride-hailing apps like Tirhal do operate in the country.
In late March, news surfaced that Uber was preparing to make a $3 billion bid for Careem Networks. Per reports at the time, Uber was offering $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes, which can be converted to shares in Uber at a price of $55 per share. Neither side commented on the report.
Uber’s revenue was said to be $11.3 billion last year, and its gross bookings from rides totaled $50 billion. However, the company reportedly, lost $3.3 billion, excluding gains from the sale of its business units in Southeast Asia and Russia.