Grab in talks to go public in nearly US$40b Spac deal

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Grab Holdings is in talks to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company that could value the ride-hailing giant at nearly US$40 billion (S$53.6 billion), people familiar with the matter said.

This would make it the largest ever blank-cheque deal. Special purpose acquisition companies, or Spacs, are shell companies that raise funds through an initial public offering to take a private company public.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported earlier in the day that SoftBank-backed Grab was in talks with Altimeter Capital Management.

Grab is expected to raise between US$3 billion and US$4 billion from private investors, according to the report.

Reuters first reported in January, citing sources, that Singapore-based Grab was exploring a listing in the United States.

Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Altimeter has backed two Spacs – Altimeter Growth Corp and Altimeter Growth Corp 2. The WSJ report did not specify which of the two Spacs Grab was in talks with.

Other recent large Spac deals include UMW Holdings’ US$16 billion merger with a blank-cheque firm backed by billionaire Alec Gores, and the US$24 billion deal that luxury -vehicle maker Lucid Motors struck with a Michael Klein-backed Spac.

Altimeter did not immediately respond to a Reuters for comment, while Grab could not be reached for comment outside regular business hours.

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