Grab to go public in US after merger

South-east Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab Holdings intends to go public in the US through a merger with US-based Altimeter Growth Corp, it announced yesterday.

Its partnership is the biggest blank-cheque company deal ever. The proposed transaction will give Grab a market value of around US$39.6 billion (S$53 billion).

Grab's merger with the special purpose acquisition company (Spac) of investment company Altimeter Capital Management is expected to provide up to US$4.5 billion in cash proceeds to Grab, the Singapore-headquartered company added in a press statement. The combined company expects its stock to be traded on the tech-heavy, growth-oriented Nasdaq in the coming months.

Grab's merger with a Spac - or a blank cheque company - offers it a quicker way to list than a traditional initial public offering (IPO). Spacs are formed to raise capital through an IPO to acquire an existing company and, with much of the funding in the bag, reduce the need for time-consuming roadshows.

Grab group chief executive Anthony Tan said: "It gives us immense pride to represent South-east Asia in the global public markets. This is a milestone in our journey to open up access for everyone to benefit from the digital economy. This is even more critical as our region recovers from Covid-19."

Grab is set to be the first South-east Asian tech unicorn to go public through a Spac, a move seen as a big win for its early backers SoftBank Group and Didi Chuxing. - THE STRAITS TIMES