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Opinion

The power grab at the heart of Grab’s Spac listing

Anthony Tan’s 60% control of the Singaporean fintech’s voting power shows what founders can get away with when spared the rigour of an IPO.

Anthony-Tan-Grab-fist-Reuters-960x535.jpg
Grab’s founder Anthony Tan holds 2.6% of the voting power pre-listing – and will hold 60.4% afterwards. Photo: Reuters

Grab’s pending listing through the largest-ever special purpose acquisition company (Spac) merger, raising $4.5 billion in a deal that values the company at around $38.9 billion, spares the southeast Asian ride-hailing fintech from having to draft a comprehensive listing prospectus.

But the listing has at least prompted the publication of a detailed investor presentation that sheds new light on the company and the new norms enabled by Spac structures.

You have to get a long way into the appendix, to page 50, to get to the meat, but there you find something striking.

Anthony Tan, Grab’s founder, holds 2.6% of the voting power pre-listing – and will hold 60.4% afterwards, at the same time that his holding of total ordinary shares will actually decline in percentage terms to 2.2%.

Partly this is a consequence of other key directors, including co-founder Tan Hooi Ling, committing their shares to be voted through Tan.


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