Grab lists on Nasdaq, shares fall 22% below listing price after surging 18%

One milestone achieved.

Belmont Lay | December 03, 2021, 03:30 AM

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Grab, Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing and delivery company, listed on the Nasdaq on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.

Its shares then fell as much as 22 per cent within hours of making its public listed company debut, despite surging as much as 18 per cent when the market opened.

The stock was trading at US$8.52 at 2:55am Singapore time.

Its opening price some four hours ago touched US$13.06.

Shares of Grab had merged with Altimeter Growth Corp, which had closed the previous day at US$11.01.

As with other blank-cheque companies, Altimeter itself had gone public at the US$10 mark.

Grab's chief executive Anthony Tan told Reuters just after the shares started trading: "The price makes no difference to me. I'm going to celebrate tonight and get back to work tomorrow."

Grab has yet to post a profit.

US$40 billion deal

Grab, the nine-year-old Singapore-based company and Altimeter Growth Corp, have both been described as blank-cheque companies, but have pulled off a US$40 billion merger.

The listing comes after Grab's April agreement to merge with U.S. tech investor Altimeter Capital Management's SPAC, Altimeter Growth Corp.

The plan was to raise US$4.5 billion, including US$750 million from Altimeter.

SPAC stands for "special purpose acquisition companies".

Singapore bell-ringing event

Grab kicked off the biggest U.S. listing by a Southeast Asian company with a bell-ringing event in Singapore's Shangri-La hotel.

It was hosted by Nasdaq and Grab's executives, and punctuated by a lot of celebratory clapping.

The event was attended by about 250 people including investors, drivers, merchants and employees, with many dressed in the company's signature green.

Background on Grab

Grab began as a ride-hailing app.

It now operates across 465 cities in eight countries, offering food deliveries, payments, insurance and investment products.

CEO Tan and fellow co-founder Tan Hooi Ling developed Grab from an idea for a Harvard Business School venture competition in 2011.

The two Tans are not related.

CEO Tan, 39, launched Grab as a taxi app in Malaysia in 2012.

He subsequently expanded Grab into a regional operation with a range of services.

It later moved its headquarters to Singapore.

"What we have shown to the world is that home grown tech companies can develop great technology that can compete globally, even when international players are in town," Tan told Reuters a day before the listing.

"We can compete and win."

Tan's great-grandfather was a taxi driver.

Grab CEO net worth

CEO Tan will control 60.4 per cent of voting rights along with Grab's co-founder, and president Ming Maa.

Together, they hold only a 3.3 per cent stake in Grab.

CEO Tan's stake alone is 2.2 per cent of the company.

But that stake is worth a fortune.

The holdings of co-founder Hooi Ling Tan and Ming Maa are now worth US$224 million (S$307 million) and US$126 million (S$173 million), respectively.

CEO Tan was previously reported to have been worth US$380 million (S$514 million) even before this deal.

With the successful listing, he is likely to push his net worth to US$829 million, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index.

This will make him a billionaire in Singapore dollars.

However, the latest numbers half a day after the Nasdaq listing, tabulated by Bloomberg Billionaires Index, suggested that Tan's stake was worth more than a billion dollars when Grab's stock surged, but settled at US$725 million (S$994 million) after it plunged -- effectively making him a billionaire in US dollars.

Top photo via Nasdaq

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