Asian ride-hailing company Grab plans a US listing after merging with the investment fund Altimeter Capital Management in an operation that values Grab at $39.6 billion, the company said Tuesday.
The listing, planned "in the coming months" on the Nasdaq exchange, would be the biggest global market launch via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), a statement issued by the Singapore-based company said, quoted by AFP.
If successful, it should provide Grab with $4.5 billion in fresh funds, the company added.
The deal would involve Grab, a popular ride-hailing company that also delivers meals and provides financial services, merging with what is sometimes called a "blank-cheque vehicle" that is already listed and whose business consists of helping stock market flotations.
The so-called SPAC model has become a favoured way of managing such listings because they are faster and less expensive than classic stock flotations.
Bloomberg reported the Singapore-based startup is set to have a market value of about $39.6 billion after the combination with the special purpose acquisition company of Brad Gerstner’s Altimeter Capital Management, the firms said in a statement Tuesday. Grab is raising more than $4 billion from investors including BlackRock, Fidelity International and T. Rowe Price Group as part of the biggest US equity offering by a Southeast Asian company.
The deal would make the ride-hailing and food-delivery giant the first Southeast Asian tech unicorn to go public through a SPAC and give it funds to expand. Grab is trying to take advantage of a US-led SPAC listing boom even though it’s showing signs of slowing amid increased scrutiny by regulators.
“This is definitely one of the best internet companies,” Gerstner said in an interview. “The runway ahead is very long and very wide for Grab if they continue to execute.”
The combined entity’s stock will trade on the Nasdaq in the coming months under the ticker GRAB. Altimeter Capital, which orchestrated the initial public offering of Altimeter Growth in September, is putting $750 million into the company, about a fifth of the fresh funds raised.
That, together with a three-year lockup period for its sponsor shares, indicates Altimeter’s long-term commitment to the company, Grab Chief Executive Officer Anthony Tan said. Altimeter, which manages $15 billion of assets, has also committed as much as $500 million to a contingent investment to be equal to the total amount of redemptions by Altimeter Growth’s shareholders.