| | MAY 20238IN FOCUSBROOKFIELD ENTERS RACE FOR DUBAI BASED NETWORK INTERNATIONAL WITH $2.7 BILLION PROPOSALYANDEX ACQUIRES UBER'S STAKE IN TAXI JV FOR $703 MILLIONA counteroffer of £2.13 billion ($2.7 billion) from Canada's Brookfield Asset Management has surpassed a joint offer from CVC Capital and Francisco Partners to acquire payments provider Network International. The largest payment processing company in the Middle East and Africa may be the subject of a bidding battle, according to Network International, a company located in the UAE, which said it was reviewing Brookfield's proposal. In contrast to the publicly reported joint proposal from private equity companies CVC Capital and Francisco Partners, Brookfield offered 400 pence per share instead of 387 pence. Early trading saw shares of London-listed Network International rise more than 11 percent to 400.2 pence, suggesting that a bid around that price would be considered acceptable. Analysts predict that the company will profit from developments in the Middle East and Africa's payment and financial services infrastructure.Last year, Brookfield, which manages more than $5 billion in assets in the Middle East, acquired a 60 percent share in Magnati, First Abu Dhabi Bank's payments division. According to Credit Suisse analyst Justin Forsythe, Magnati, the No. two payment processor in the UAE, would give Brookfield between 60 percent and 65 percent of the country's payment volume. However, Forsythe noted that having two options on the table increases the possibility of a Network agreement.Capital Research and Mastercard UK are among Network International's main investors. The company went public in April 2019 in London at a price per share of 435 pence. Online retailers can use payment gateways from Network International. On its website, it claimed to have handled more than $42 billion for more than 150,000 merchants in 2021. It had stated that if a firm offer was made, it would consider endorsing the consortium's proposal. The largest digital company in Russia, Yandex, announced that it has acquired Uber's share of their joint taxi venture for $702.5 million, taking sole ownership of the Yandex Taxi company and ending Uber's presence in Russia."As a result of the deal, Yandex will become the sole owner of the group, which includes a taxi ordering service, carsharing and scooter rental," Yandex said in a statement.Uber sold its shares in a joint venture with Yandex for foodtech and delivery in 2021. In order to merge their ride-sharing operations in Russia and its neighbours, the companies teamed up there in 2017.In exchange for that $1 billion, Yandex acquired a $2 billion call option to acquire the remaining 71 percent of Uber's investment in a second ride-hailing joint venture.A government panel must now approve corporate withdrawals from Russia due to financial outflows and unprecedented sanctions against Moscow as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.Yandex reported that the deal had regulatory approval. Measures put in place in late December state that asset sales are permissible as long as the buyer receives a 50 percent discount after an independent valuation.No discounts were mentioned by Yandex. Uber could not be reached for comment right away.
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