SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore-based property listings platform PropertyGuru is set to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the middle of this month after a business combination with Bridgetown 2 Holdings, a special-purpose acquisition company (Spac).
This would happen after - it is assumed - shareholders vote in favour of the business combination in an extraordinary general meeting on March 15. Bridgetown 2 is backed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Richard Li.
The Spac merger values PropertyGuru at about US$1.78 billion (S$2.4 billion).
Spacs are shell firms that raise money from institutional and retail investors via market listings, and put it in a trust for the purpose of merging with a private company and taking it public.
While the United States has been a go-to market for Spacs, Asian bourses such as in Singapore and Hong Kong have also recently introduced frameworks for such listings. Since the Singapore Exchange introduced its Spac framework last September, three Spacs have gone public.
Spacs are increasingly falling out of favour with investors after an initial boom, following regulatory clampdowns, an oversupply of Spacs and concerns over rising interest rates.
Shares of Bridgetown 2, for instance, have been down more than 20 per cent since its market debut in January 2021.
PropertyGuru, which provides real estate services to countries in South-east Asia, saw growth in Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia over financial year 2021.
It posted a revenue of $100.7 million, an increase of 22.7 per cent from $82.1 million a year prior. This was also above the projected FY2021 revenue of $97.5 million.
In Singapore, PropertyGuru increased agent subscription prices by 15 per cent on average in November 2021, which its chief executive officer Hari Krishnan last month attributed to "rising property prices, solid agent and consumer confidence, and PropertyGuru's strong market position".
The company is forecasting FY2022 revenue to grow 44 per cent year on year to $145.1 million, and is expected to be adjusted Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) positive.
Meanwhile, local online classifieds platforms Carousell is also seeking a Spac deal in the US via a merger with blank-cheque company L Catterton Asia Acquisition.
- Additional information from The Straits Times