Grab working towards joining Nasdaq in Q3, CEO to own 2.2% stake in combined entity

Grab chief executive Anthony Tan will control 60.4 per cent of the company's voting power after the merger. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based Grab is working towards joining the Nasdaq in the third quarter with co-founder and chief executive Anthony Tan to own a 2.2 per cent stake in the new entity, according to a regulatory filing.

Grab announced its reverse merger with United States-based special purpose acquisition company Altimeter Growth Corp on Tuesday (April 13) - which will give the combined company a valuation of US$39.6 billion (S$52.9 billion), making it the largest deal of its kind.

The filing showed that Mr Tan's holding post-merger will comprise 122.9 million Class B ordinary shares under his own name, as well as 25.6 million under his fellow co-founder Tan Hooi Ling and 14.4 million under Grab president Ming Maa.

Ms Tan's and Mr Maa's shares will be beneficially owned by Mr Tan under a deed that will be entered into concurrently with the merger.

Grab's directors and executive officers collectively now hold 3.8 per cent of voting power, but this will change once the deal is completed.

Mr Tan will also control 60.4 per cent of the company's voting power after the merger by virtue of his Class B shares, each of which is entitled to 45 votes, while each Class A share gets one vote.

Key backer SoftBank Vision Fund will hold 18.6 per cent of ordinary shares post-merger, and 7.6 per cent of the voting power.

Grab's filing also showed that it recorded a loss of US$800 million on an Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) basis last year on adjusted net revenue of US$1.6 billion and a net loss of US$2.7 billion.

This followed losses of US$2.3 billion in 2019 and US$1.3 billion in 2018, on an Ebitda basis.

Its investor presentation predicts that overall earnings will turn positive on an Ebitda basis by 2023.

A separate filing also showed an e-mail in which Mr Tan told Grab employees on Tuesday that there is still a lot of work to be done before it rings the Nasdaq bell in the third quarter of this year.

"While this first major step to become a publicly traded company is an important milestone that should be celebrated, it comes with new potential distractions that we need to learn how to manage going forward - news on our plans to go public, the company's valuation and eventually, the inevitable up and down fluctuations of our stock price," he said.

But Mr Tan also added that these short-term considerations must not be a distraction: "We're just touching the tip of the iceberg in terms of the impact we can and will make on South-east Asia."

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