January 3, 2018 / 11:15 AM / 3 months ago

China's Didi Chuxing buys control of Brazil's 99 app- report

SAO PAULO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - China’s ride-hailing application Didi Chuxing has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Brazilian app 99, newspaper Valor Economico said on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the talks.

According to the paper, Didi valued 99 at $1 billion, and acquired stakes owned by current shareholders Riverwood Capital, Monashees Inc., Qualcomm Ventures, Tiger Global Management LLC and Softbank Group Corp.

Contacted by Reuters, 99 declined to comment and said it will issue a statement “at an appropriate time”.

Buyout firms Riverwood and Monashees did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Calls to Tiger Global were not picked up outside business hours.

The paper said a $100 million investment announced by Didi in 99 a year ago gave the Chinese company a minority stake in the app.

The acquisition intensifies Didi’s global rivalry with Uber, especially in Latin America. Reuters reported on Dec. 7 that Didi plans to enter Mexico this year.

The company 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 April, Didi raised $5.5 billion from investors, in part to fund global expansion. (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, Gabriela Mello and Gram Slattery; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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