Grab decided to go public based on its strong financial performance in 2020, despite the impact of Covid-19 pandemic


Grab agreed to merge with Altimeter. (Credit: Grab.)

Singapore-based Grab Holdings (Grab) has agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Altimeter Growth to go public in the US in a deal valued at around $39.6bn.

The company is engaged in providing mobility, food delivery and digital payments services through its mobile superapp.

The transaction, which is said to be the largest US equity offering by any Southeast Asian firm, will enable Grab’s securities traded on NASDAQ.

Grab said that its decision to become a public company was driven by strong financial performance in 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It has posted a gross merchandise value GMV of about $12.5bn in 2020, which is superior to pre-pandemic levels and is more than double from 2018.

Grab Group CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan said: “It gives us immense pride to represent Southeast Asia in the global public markets. This is a milestone in our journey to open up access for everyone to benefit from the digital economy.

“This is even more critical as our region recovers from Covid-19. It was very challenging for us too, but it taught us immensely about the resiliency of our business.

“Our diversified superapp strategy helped our driver-partners pivot to deliveries, and enabled us to deliver growth while improving profitability.”

The proposed transaction is anticipated to close in the coming months, subject to shareholder approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

Upon closing, Altimeter Growth and Grab will become fully-owned subsidiaries of a new holding company, valued at around $39.6bn on an initial proforma equity basis.

The combined company will receive nearly $4.5bn in cash proceeds, including more than $4bn from a fully committed PIPE offering, upsized due to significant investor interest.

Altimeter Capital Management is pumping $750m into the company, alongside funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Counterpoint Global, T Rowe Price Associates, and other investors.

Altimeter founder and CEO Brad Gerstner said: “As one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing internet companies, Grab is paving the digital path forward for the 670 million citizens of Southeast Asia.

“We are thrilled that Grab selected Altimeter Capital Markets as their partner to go public and even more excited to become sizable long-term owners in this innovative, mission driven company.”

In February last year, Grab has acquired digital wealth platform provider Bento Invest, to offer retail wealth management and investment solutions through the Grab app.