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Grab’s Spac prospect is SGX’s ordeal

Singapore always knew its fintech superstar might ditch the city state’s exchange in favour of US markets. Now it looks like Grab will do so through a Spac – the biggest yet – as Asia joins the Pipe party.

Chris Wright on Asia 1920px.jpg

Grab, the southeast Asian ride-hailing app-turned-fintech, is believed to be deep in talks to go public through a New York-listed special purpose acquisition company (Spac).

The deal is potentially the biggest of its kind so far – and bad news for Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Grab declined to comment on Monday about the rumours linking it to a Spac run by Altimeter Capital Management, a technology-focused investment firm based in Silicon Valley.

But it is understood that the deal would value Grab at around $40 billion and would involve the raising of around $3 billion through a private investment in public equity (Pipe) structure.

JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are believed to be advising Grab on the deal and talks with investors are already thought to be in train. Those close to discussions say the numbers will start to firm up soon.

Going this way would grant Grab a New York listing without the onerous process of an IPO and all its attendant disclosure.

SGX fears confirmed

It would also confirm for SGX an outcome it has long feared.

SGX has suffered a dearth of listings for a decade. Thanks to a habit of the sovereign vehicle Temasek taking some of its organizations private, there have been times when SGX has ended a year with fewer listed companies than it started with.


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