ComfortDelGro parts ways with Uber

ComfortDelGro parts ways with Uber

UberFLASH ComfortDelGro
Uber Singapore announced it will be bringing surge pricing to all ComfortDelGro taxis through a new service called UberFLASH. (Photo: Kevin Kwang) 

SINGAPORE: The strategic agreement that ComfortDelGro and Uber entered into late last year has been dissolved, the taxi operator announced in a news release on Friday (May 25). 

ComfortDelGro will no longer be acquiring a 51 per cent stake in Uber's wholly-owned rental subsidiary in Singapore, Lion City Holdings, it said. The application submitted to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore will be withdrawn as well. 

The move comes after Grab announced plans in March to acquire Uber's Southeast Asia operations.

ComfortDelGro managing director and group CEO Mr Yang Ban Seng said: "The operating environment has changed and the basis on which we were supposed to form the partnership is no longer relevant given that Uber has exited the region. 

"Nevertheless, the Group still has every intention to go into the private hire vehicle space as we see the increasing convergence of private hire vehicles and taxis in the personalised mobility market." 

The ComfortDelGro-Uber deal was previously valued at about S$642 million, with a cash consideration of S$295 million. It would have ranked as the company's single largest deal to date. 

As part of the deal, Uber Singapore had launched UberFLASH, which brought surge pricing to all ComfortDelGro taxis, in January. The service lasted until the Uber app was turned off on May 7 in Singapore. 

"While short-lived, this innovative partnership has already resulted in key insights that are informing exciting new strategies for both parties - with ComfortDelGro continuing to explore private hire vehicles, and Uber firmly committed to increasing taxi partnerships as one solution in our vision for a multi-modal mobility platform," said Mr Brooks Entwistle, Uber's international chief business officer. 

"I would like to thank both teams and ComfortDelGro's leadership for their efforts in shaping the future of the industry, and look forward to seeing how our respective learnings change the way the world moves."

Source: CNA/ng