SoftBank-Backed Grofers Weighs Listing Via U.S. SPAC Deal
Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past a SoftBank Corp. store in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg)

SoftBank-Backed Grofers Weighs Listing Via U.S. SPAC Deal

Grofers, an Indian online grocer, is weighing a plan to go public in the U.S. through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, people familiar with the matter said.

The SoftBank Vision Fund-backed company is working with an adviser, one of the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public. The grocer is seeking a deal that would value the firm at about $1 billion, another person said.

Deliberations are at an early stage and the company could decide not to proceed with the plan, the people said. A representative for Grofers declined to comment.

The SPACs trend is rapidly spreading beyond the U.S., with blank-check companies springing up in recent months to focus on targets in Asia, or with ties to the region. James Murdoch and former president of Walt Disney Asia Pacific Uday Shankar are seeking a blank-check vehicle to acquire Asian companies, Bloomberg News reported this week.

Grofers sells grocery and daily household products from cooking oil to Indian spices to shoppers in more than 27 Indian cities, according to its website. Its eight in-house brands make up the majority of the products it sells to the roughly three million people who have downloaded its app.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund led an investment round of more than $200 million into the company in 2019, along with Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital and KTB.

In a post-earnings presentation to investors on Tuesday, SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son said the company may see between 10 to 20 public listings a year from its portfolio of 164 startups across three different funds.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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