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Image credit: Grab

Brief: Food delivery app Grab said to target US listing in biggest ever SPAC deal

April 7, 2021

  • Southeast Asian decacorn Grab is mulling a merger with a New York-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) operated by Silicon Valley investment firm Altimeter Capital Management, the Financial Times reports.
  • Singapore-headquartered Grab would simultaneously raise at least $2.5 billion through a private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction, which would make the potential merger the largest SPAC deal on record.
  • The proposed deal values the SoftBank-backed app at around $35 billion and could complete as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Why it matters:

Grab — which offers myriad services including restaurant and grocery delivery, digital payments, and ride-hailing across Southeast Asia — was until recently expected to merge with its Jakarta-headquartered rival Gojek. However, the Indonesian app has since opened merger talks with compatriot Tokopedia.

At the start of this year, Grab president Ming Maa said in a newsletter that while the company’s flagship ride-hailing business had suffered since the onset of Covid-19, Q3 2020 revenue from GrabFood — its on-demand meal delivery offering — almost tripled year-on-year. It also doubled the number of merchants on its platform, with close to 600,000 vendors across the region now selling food through the Grab app.

Altimeter has established two SPACs; of the two, Altimeter Growth Corp I, which raised $450 million when it listed last year, is seen as the most likely candidate for a combination with Grab.

The app has raised an estimated $12 billion in venture funding since launching as a taxi-booking service in Malaysia back in 2012.

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