Grab to go public in US after US$40 billion SPAC deal

First Southeast Asian tech unicorn to go public through a SPAC.

Tanya Ong | April 14, 2021, 10:41 AM

Grab Holdings announced on Tuesday (Apr. 13) that they intend to go public in the U.S.

This will be in partnership with Altimeter Growth Corp in what is expected to be the "largest-ever U.S. equity offering by a Southeast Asian company", a statement said.

Raise $4.5 billion for Grab

The deal values Grab at US$39.6 billion (S$53.5 billion), and is expected to raise approximately US$4.5 billion in cash for the company.

Grab's statement said that out of the US$4.5 billion, US$4 billion is from a group of investors including BlackRock and Singapore state fund Temasek Holdings.

Nikkei Asia reported that Grab had a net revenue of US$1.19 billion in 2020 up from US$455 million in 2019. They reported a net loss of US$2.7 billion in 2020, compared to US$4 billion loss in 2019.

"Grab’s decision to become a public company was driven by strong financial performance in 2020, despite Covid-19," Brad Gerstner, founder and CEO of Altimeter, said.

SPAC merger

According to Bloomberg, this deal would make the Singapore-based startup the first "Southeast Asian tech unicorn to go public through a SPAC and give it funds to expand".

SPACs are "blank-cheque" companies, and goes public with the intent of acquiring a private company.

The merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) will also provide a faster route to the stock market as compared to a more conventional initial public offering.

IPOs typically involve a lengthier process of roadshows and extended negotiations with multiple investors, which are time-consuming and expensive.

Top photo via Grab.