Singapore-based Grab to list on Nasdaq via S$53b merger with US outfit

Singapore-based company Grab will be seeking a listing on Nasdaq, the United States stock exchange dominated by technology firms. — Reuters pic
Singapore-based company Grab will be seeking a listing on Nasdaq, the United States stock exchange dominated by technology firms. — Reuters pic

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SINGAPORE, April 14 — Singapore-based company Grab said on Tuesday that it will be seeking a listing on Nasdaq, the United States stock exchange dominated by technology firms. This is expected to be the largest ever US equity offering by a Southeast Asian company.

In a press statement, Grab said that it will go public in partnership with a special purpose acquisition vehicle (Spac) Altimeter Growth Corp that will value the combined entity at US$39.6 billion (RM164 billion).

The public listing will help Grab raise cash proceeds of about US$4.5 billion. Out of these, about US$4 billion has already been committed in a deal where its shares are sold to private investors.

One of the private investors is Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek.

Grab started as a ride-hailing mobile application before expanding into food delivery and digital payment services.

Unlike the more common method of going public through an Initial Public Offering (IPO), where a company’s shares are sold to institutional and retail investors, Grab will be going public by merging with Altimeter, in what is known as a Spac listing.

Spacs are essentially “blank-cheque companies” that have no commercial operations but are set up strictly to raise capital through an IPO for the purpose of acquiring another existing company.

Altimeter Growth Corp is sponsored by technology-focused investment firm Altimeter Capital Management.

Grab’s statement on Tuesday confirmed an earlier Financial Times report on its upcoming public listing.

The combined company’s securities will be traded on Nasdaq under the symbol “Grab” in the coming months.

Anthony Tan, group chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Grab, said that it gives the company “immense pride” to represent South-east Asia in 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,” he added.

Altimeter’s founder and CEO Brad Gerstner said it is thrilled that Grab has chosen Altimeter as its partner to go public and “even more excited to become sizable long-term owners in this innovative, mission-driven company”.  

Grab said that across its three main business services, it expects its total addressable market to grow from US$52 billion in 2020 to more than US$180 billion by 2025, given that South-east Asia is one of the fastest growing digital economies in the world with a population about twice the size of the US.

The company decided to go public after registering strong financial performance last year, despite the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gross merchandise value came in at US$12.5 billion last year, which surpassed pre-pandemic levels and more than doubled the level seen in 2018, Grab said in its statement.

It added that it is the leader in South-east Asia, accounting for 72 per cent of total regional gross merchandise value for ride-hailing, 50 per cent for online food delivery and 23 per cent for digital wallet services in 2020.

It also said that it has made “significant strides towards profitability”, and has achieved positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation in its mobility segment across all of its markets. — TODAY

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