May 29, 2017 / 8:52 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Delivery Hero buys Middle East firm Carriage

* Financial details not disclosed

* Carriage founders to stay on

* Delivery Hero says Carriage complements Talabat brand

* Rocket Internet shares up 2.4 pct (Adds details, background)

BERLIN, May 29 (Reuters) - Online food takeaway firm Delivery Hero, which sources have said is considering a flotation imminently, has agreed to buy Middle East food delivery platform Carriage, the latest in a series of technology deals in the region.

Chief Executive Niklas Ostberg said in a statement on Monday that Kuwait-based Carriage, which operates in the Gulf Council countries, would strengthen Delivery Hero’s foothold in a region with “significant growth potential”.

The parties agreed not to disclose financial details. Major investors in Delivery Hero include Germany’s Rocket Internet and South African media and e-commerce firm Naspers .

The deal comes after Dubai’s Emaar Malls announced last week it will buy a 51 percent stake in e-commerce fashion website Namshi from Global Fashion Group (GFG), a firm set up by Rocket Internet and Sweden’s Kinnevik.

Shares in Rocket Internet, which were buoyed last week by the Emaar news and Reuters reports that Delivery Hero and its meal kit company HelloFresh were preparing for stock market listings, were up another 2.4 percent by 0843 GMT.

Delivery Hero said Carriage’s team of founders including Chief Executive Abdullah Jihad Almutawa was key to the acquisition and would remain on board after the acquisition.

Delivery Hero first entered the Middle East in 2015 when it bought regional market leader Talabat from Rocket Internet. Ostberg said Carriage would be a “perfect addition” to Delivery Hero’s current offering under the Talabat brand. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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