Mexico City – Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) on Monday gave Uber Technologies Inc. the green light to acquire a majority stake in grocery delivery service Cornershop, according to Bloomberg.
In October 2018, Walmart signed a definitive agreement to buy Cornershop for $225 million, but Cofece prevented the negotiation from taking place, citing risks of displacement of Cornershop’s competitors and of hindering the development of new platforms.
The regulator’s approval was the only piece missing for this new deal to be complete, Uber said in a statement. Currently, consumers in various cities in Latin America, Canada and the United States can find Cornershop grocery delivery through the Uber and Uber Eats apps.
“Our goal when we launched Cornershop five years ago was to create the best grocery and specialty stores delivery platform in Mexico, and this partnership with Uber in Mexico will help drive that vision,” said Oskar Hjertonsson, Cornershop founder and CEO.
Uber is looking at grocery delivery as a way to grow as more people stay home during the pandemic. For two straight quarters, Uber has made more money dropping off restaurant food than transporting people, so they’re looking to expand by handling groceries and pharmacy items in addition to prepared meals.
“Uber and Cornershop are committed to promoting delivery services that support commerce and local communities, which is even more important during uncertain scenarios like the ones we face today,” said Eduardo Donnelly, CEO of Uber Eats for Latin America.
“We are excited to finally bring our teams together to continue to innovate, offering ever-better products and services to business partners, delivery partners, shoppers and consumers across the country,” he added.
Cornershop México will continue to operate independently until the acquisition is completed, which is expected to happen in the next few days. After the closing of the investment, Cornershop will continue to operate under its current leadership, reporting to a board with majority representation of Uber.