Grab, the food-delivery giant backed by Softbank, is going public in the US via the largest-ever SPAC merger, valuing it at $40 billion

Tan Hooi Ling
Tan Hooi Ling, chief operating officer and cofounder of Grab.

  • “Superapp” Grab is going public in the US via a SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth.
  • The deal is set to value Grab, backed by Softbank, at $39.6 billion.
  • The Singapore-based app offers services ranging from deliveries to financial services.
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Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab, whose backers include SoftBank and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, announced Tuesday that it planned to go public in the US via a merger with blank-check company Altimeter Growth.

The deal is set to value Grab at $39.6 billion, and would be the biggest-ever special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger.

A SPAC is a company created solely to merge with, or acquire, another business and take it public, making it a cheaper, faster alternative to an IPO, Insider’s Martin Daks reported.

Singapore-based Grab said it expected its securities be traded on Nasdaq under the symbol GRAB “in the coming months.”

Read more: Grab’s cofounders took a $10,000 business school prize and turned it into a ‘super app’ worth $40 billion as part of the largest SPAC deal ever

Grab describes itself as a “superapp.” It offers services ranging from deliveries to financial services.

Grab started as a ride-hailing venture in Malaysia in 2012 and is now the region’s most valuable startup.

Grab said that it decided to go public because of its strong financial performance in 2020. It posted a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $12.5 billion, which is more than double its 2018 figure, despite the pandemic.

The company added that it accounted for about 72% of Southest Asia’s GMV for ride-hailing, and 50% for online food delivery, as well as 23% of regional total payment volume for digital wallet payments in 2020.

Shares in Altimeter Group were last up around 9% at $15.16 in US pre-market trading.

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Altimeter SPACs surge on reported $40 billion deal for Singapore ride-hailing company Grab

Tan Hooi Ling
Tan Hooi Ling is a co-founder of Grab and the current COO.

  • Altimeter Capital is in talks with ride-hailing company Grab to bring the company public in a $40 billion deal, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
  • If the deal goes through, it would mark the biggest SPAC deal on record, according to the report.
  • Two SPACs affiliated with Altimeter Capital surged as much as 20% in Thursday trades.
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Two SPACs affiliated with Altimeter Capital surged in Thursday trades following a report from The Wall Street Journal that said talks are underway for ride-hailing company Grab to go public via a reverse merger with the blank check company.

Altimeter Growth Corp. and Altimeter Growth Corp. 2 surged as much as 29% and 16%, respectively, as its unclear which SPAC is in talks to merge with Grab. The Wall Street Journal said deal talks could fall apart and if so, Grab would likely explore a traditional IPO listing on a US exchange later this year.

Grab is a Singapore-based company that operates a ride-hailing and grocery delivery platform. The firm was founded in 2011 and is backed by Softbank. A potential deal with Altimeter could be valued at up to $40 billion, according to the report.

The tie-up between Grab and Altimeter could happen in the next few weeks, and if so, it would mark the largest SPAC deal on record. Grab would raise between $3 billion and $4 billion in proceeds from the potential deal.

Altimeter Capital launched its two SPACs in October and January, raising a combined $850 million between the two blank-check vehicles. Altimeter is based in California and has about $16 billion in assets under management.

SPACs have been all the rage since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a $40 billion deal between Grab and Altimeter would likely cement the alternative IPO route as a worthy option once the pandemic subsides. So far this year, 246 SPAC IPOs have raised nearly $80 billion in proceeds, according to data from SPACInsider.

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