Grab set to announce deal with U.S. SPAC at $40 billion valuation – sources | Reuters

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab Holdings is set to announce later on Tuesday a merger with U.S.-based Altimeter that is set to value Grab at nearly $40 billion and lead to a public listing, three people told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: A Grab logo is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore March 21, 2019. Picture taken March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Anshuman Daga/File Photo

The merger will make it the biggest blank-check company deal ever.

Grab’s agreement with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by Altimeter Capital includes a $4 billion private investment in public equity (PIPE) from a group of Asian and global investors including Fidelity International and Janus Henderson.

The deal for Singapore-based Grab, which sources have previously said was valued at just over $16 billion last year, is a big win for its early backers such as Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and China’s Didi Chuxing.

A U.S. listing will give Grab extra firepower in its main market, Indonesia, where local rival Gojek is close to sealing a merger with the country’s leading e-commerce business Tokopedia.

Grab declined to comment. There was no response from Silicon Valley-based Altimeter to an emailed request for comment.

The two fund managers also did not respond to an emailed query. The sources declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The nearly $40 billion valuation is based on a proforma equity value, two of the sources said.

With operations in eight countries and 398 cities, Grab is already Southeast Asia’s most valuable start-up.

Leveraging its ride-hailing business started in 2012, the firm has expanded into offering food and grocery deliveries, courier services, digital payments, and is now making a big push into insurance and lending in a region of 650 million people.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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