Uber Technologies Inc are set to announce plans to acquire Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ as early as this week, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. It is reported that Uber will pay $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes, which will be convertible into Uber shares at a price equal to $55 per share, according to a term-sheet that Bloomberg said it had seen.

Uber has been preparing for an initial public offering, and its bankers have indicated that it could be valued at as much as $120 billion.

According to Engadget, after years of backing out of major international markets, Uber appears ready to go on the offensive. Sources talking to Bloomberg claim the ridesharing firm is poised to buy Careem, its chief competitor in the Middle East, for the equivalent of $3.1 billion in cash and shares. It’s not certain just what Uber would do with its acquisition. However, you might hear about it very shortly — stakeholders have been asked to rubber stamp the deal by the evening of March 25th, and a deal could be made public as soon as March 26th.

The move might be a clever one. Uber is believed to be publicly filing for its IPO in April, and snapping up Careem would give investors an extra reason to back the company. On top of that, one of the company’s largest backers is a Saudi Arabian wealth fund — Uber could increase its chances of receiving more funding if it’s instrumental to ride hailing in the region. You might not see Uber make similar acquisitions unless it stands to gain more from the deal than some additional passengers.

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed’s firm supports Uber-Careem merger

Saudi’s Kingdom Holding Company, which has a stake in car hailing app Careem, would back a merger of the Dubai firm with rival Uber, a senior official has said. Kingdom, the investment firm of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, took a 7 per cent stake in Careem in 2017 and was also part of a $200m fundraising round in October.