(Updates with official confirmation)
BRASILIA/SAO PAULO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - China's ride-hailing
application Didi Chuxing has agreed to acquire control of
Brazil's 99, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday,
potentially creating a formidable rival to Uber in Latin
America's largest economy.
The companies did not disclose the stake acquired not the
value, but an earlier report by Brazilian newspaper Valor
Econômico on Wednesday said the deal valued 99 at $1 billion.
According to the paper, which cited sources familiar with
talks, the Chinese company bought out investors such as
Riverwood Capital, Monashees Inc., Qualcomm Ventures, Tiger
Global Management LLC and Softbank Group Corp.
The acquisition intensifies Didi's global rivalry with
Uber, especially in Latin America. Reuters reported in
December that Didi plans to enter Mexico this year.
Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi, said in Wednesday's
statement that "globalization is a top strategic priority for
Didi first invested $100 million in 99 in January 2017,
getting a stake and management rights in the Brazilian app.
One source with knowledge of the matter said the funds
selling their stakes in 99 started looking for a buyer several
months ago, in mid-2017.
Riverwood, Monashees, Tiger Global, and Soft Bank Group did
not reply to requests for comment.
Didi has made no secret of its desire to expand beyond
China, particularly in light of the growing number of Chinese
customers who travel overseas.
In December, Didi raised $4 billion from investors, in part
to fund global expansion, following on from a $5.5 billion
fundraising in April.
(Reporting by Jake Spring in Brasilia, Tatiana Bautzer and Gram
Slattery in Sao Paulo; Editing by Adrian Croft and Rosalba
First Published: 2018-01-03 13:12:43
Updated 2018-01-03 22:23:44
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