July 1, 2019 / 2:00 PM / 3 months ago

Careem ends Sudan operations as part of Uber takeover deal

A Careem employee shows the logo of the company's delivery service Careen NOW on her mobile at the company headquarters in Dubai, UAE December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Satish Kumar/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Careem has ended operations in Sudan as part of its planned takeover by Uber, a spokeswoman said on Monday, less than a year after the Middle Eastern ride-hailing firm launched in the country.

Careem began operations in Sudan in September 2018 after the United States lifted economic sanctions in 2017.

Uber said in an SEC filing it expected Careem to divest its operations in Sudan before its $3.1 billion takeover of the Dubai-headquartered company closes. The deal, announced in March, is expected to close early next year.

Careem shut its Sudan business on June 30, a spokeswoman 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,” she said.

Few international firms entered Sudan after the lifting of U.S. economic sanctions. The country remains on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Sudan has faced instability since protests broke out in December, resulting in the ouster of long-time President Omar al-Bashir by the military in April.

Last week, a top U.S. State Department official said Washington was considering all options, including possible sanctions, if there was more violence after a deadly assault on protesters in Khartoum on June 3.

Other local ride-hailing apps such as Tirhal operate in Sudan.

Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Mark Potter

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