The Singapore-based ride-hailing giant and food delivery company Grab is gearing up to go public in the United States later this year. The company announced the public offering today in partnership with Altimeter Growth Corporation. Though an exact date is yet to be set, Grab says it will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “GRAB” in “the coming months.”
However, Grab’s public offering will not be a traditional initial public offering (IPO). Instead, Grab will take the SPAC route. A SPAC is a “special purpose acquisition company” and is an alternative way to bring a company to the public markets. In a SPAC deal, a publicly listed shell company created by investors acquires a target company, in this case Grab. SPACs have been all the rage in 2021, with WeWork last month announcing it is taking the SPAC route to go public too, among other companies.
When Grab lists, it is expected to be the largest-ever U.S. equity offering by a Southeast Asian company, with an expected total equity value of $39.6 billion. Such a value is expected to net Grab $4.5 billion in cash proceeds.
Grab was originally founded in 2012 and counts SoftBank as one of its largest investors. Since its launch, Grab has quickly become the dominant transportation and delivery app in Southeast Asia, operating in countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
“It gives us immense pride to represent Southeast Asia in the global public markets,” Anthony Tan, group CEO and Grab cofounder, said in announcing the deal. “This is a milestone in our journey to open up access for everyone to benefit from the digital economy . . . As we become a publicly traded company, we’ll work even harder to create economic empowerment for our communities, because when Southeast Asia succeeds, Grab succeeds.”