The on-demand ride provider, backed by more than a dozen corporates, has secured a $39.6bn initial pro-forma equity valuation in the deal.

Grab, a Singapore-headquartered ride hailing service backed by range of corporate investors, agreed a reverse takeover with special purpose acquisition company Altimeter Growth Corp today at an initial pro-forma equity value of $39.6bn. The combined business will take the position secured by Altimeter Growth Corp, an affiliate of technology investment firm Altimeter Capital Management, when it floated in a $450m initial public offering in October 2020. The valuation makes this the largest ever reverse merger agreement. Funds managed by Altimeter Capital are putting up $750m for a $4bn private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing deal supporting the transaction that includes conglomerate Sinar Mas, clove cigarette producer Djarum and investment and financial services group Fidelity. Janus Henderson Investors, Mubadala, Nuveen, Permodalan Nasional, the Sariaatmadja family and Temasek are also part of the PIPE, as are funds and accounts managed or advised by BlackRock, T Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global subsidiary. Formerly known as GrabTaxi, Grab’s core business is its on-demand ride service but it has diversified into food and package delivery as well as financial services, through an offshoot that raised more than $300m in January this year. The company last raised money in February this year when it received an undisclosed amount from Signet Partners, the corporate venture capital arm of retailer Shinsegae. Private equity firm Stic Investments had agreed to invest $200m five months earlier. Financial services firm Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group had provided $706m for Grab in February 2020 alongside $150m from IT services provider TIS Intec, boosting its overall funding to more than $8.3bn. Credit report provider Experian’s VC arm, Experian Ventures, had invested an undisclosed sum in the company in July 2019 to close a series H round that had stood at $4.8bn the previous month when investment firm Invesco supplied $300m. Internet and telecommunications group SoftBank’s Vision Fund had provided $1.46bn for the round in March 2019 after carmaker Hyundai and its Kia Motors subsidiary had agreed to invest $250m four months earlier. Travel booking provider Booking Holdings put up $200m for Grab in October 2018, after investors including automotive manufacturer Toyota, insurance provider Ping An’s Ping an Capital unit and Mirae Asset – Naver Asia Growth Fund – backed by internet group Naver – had supplied $1bn in August. OppenheimerFunds, Cinda Sino-Rock Investment Management, All-Stars Investment, Vulcan Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Macquarie Capital and undisclosed others also backed the tranche, which followed $1bn from Toyota for the round’s first close in…

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Robert Lavine

Robert Lavine is special features editor for Global Venturing.