Grab in Advanced Talks to Merge With Altimeter’s First SPAC

Grab Holdings Inc. is in advanced talks to go public through Altimeter Capital’s first blank-check company, in a deal that could value the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant at about $40 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

The potential transaction with Altimeter Growth Corp. could involve raising $2.5 billion to $3 billion through a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, according to one of the people. Formal talks with prospective PIPE investors could start as soon as next week, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are confidential.

Shares of Altimeter Growth Corp. fell 5.1% to $13.90 at 10:17 a.m. Friday in New York, clawing back some of the previous day’s gains. A deal announcement could come as early as April, one of the people said. Evercore Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are advising Grab on the SPAC discussions, and more banks could be added later, according to the people.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Grab is in negotiations with one of Altimeter’s SPACs, without identifying the specific vehicle. Deliberations are ongoing, and details of the potential transaction could change, the people said. Representatives for Grab and Evercore declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Altimeter Growth didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Altimeter Growth Corp., sponsored by Silicon Valley investment firm Altimeter Capital, raised $500 million in an initial public offering in September. The SPAC had said in its prospectus that it intends to acquire a business in the technology sector that “will compound growth over the long-term for exponential value creation.” The firm’s second SPAC, Altimeter Growth Corp. 2, started trading in January.

Grab, backed by SoftBank Group Corp., grew net revenue by about 70% in 2020 after bouncing back from a Covid-19 trough. The startup, which was last valued at more than $14 billion, is now angling to delve deeper into online finance and food delivery.

Merging with a SPAC, a shell company whose sponsors raise money from investors in order to buy a private company and give it a berth on a public exchange, would allow Grab to speed up its listing process. Several of the region’s tech unicorns including Traveloka are considering going public through blank-check companies to ride on the red-hot sentiment.

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