IPO - Uber competitor Grab lifts world's largest SPAC deal

Southeast Asia's largest transport and food delivery service Grab has agreed to a superlative Spac deal. In the merger agreed on Tuesday with Altimeter Growth, a US shell (Spac), the Uber competitor is valued at almost 40 billion US dollars (around 33,6 billion euros). This is the largest Spac deal ever made, which should give the hype about the IPOs “through the back door” further fodder.

Grab co-founder Anthony Tan’s strategy of investing heavily in growth and localizing offers is paying off. The trend towards digitization in many areas of life helped the company to attract an influx of customers during the Corona crisis.

Grab, in which Softbank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and China's driver service Didi Chuxing are involved, started as a rideshare service in Malaysia in 2012 and was valued at around 16 billion dollars in the last financing round. The most valuable startup in the region achieved worldwide fame when it took over the regional Uber business in 2018. Grab is now active in eight countries and 398 cities and also delivers restaurant meals and groceries and also offers payment services. The company, which was founded in 2012, has now also set its sights on banking and insurance.

BlackRock, Fidelity & Co. invest

Grab's agreement with Altimeter Capital's shell, Altimeter Growth, means that investment companies like BlackRock, Fidelity International and Temasek Holdings will invest more than four billion dollars. Grab will generate revenue of approximately $ 4,5 billion as part of the merger. The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the next few months, has yet to be approved by shareholders.

The IPO should also give Grab more opportunities to hold the upper hand in Grab's main market, Indonesia. There competitor Gojek is aiming for a merger with the leading online retailer Tokopedia. Grab, whose sales rose by 70 percent last year, is in the red. However, the company wants to break even in the current year, at least in the food delivery business. (Reuters)