Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab Holdings agreed a merger on Tuesday (April 13) with U.S.-based Altimeter Growth Corp.
Singapore-based Grab was valued at $39.6 billion in preparation for a public offering.
The merger is the biggest blank-check company deal ever and underscores the frenzy on Wall Street,
as shell firms have raised $99 billion in the United States so far this year.
Grab’s agreement includes a $4 billion private investment in public equity from global investors like Fidelity International, BlackRock and Janus Henderson.
Grab said its decision to become a public company was driven by strong financial performance in 2020, despite the global health crisis.
With operations in eight countries and hundreds of cities, it was already Southeast Asia's most valuable start-up.
The deal is a big win for Grab's early backers in Japan and China and a U.S. listing will give it extra value in its main market in Indonesia.
Grab has yet to turn profitable, but it expects the business to break even by the end of the year as consumers shift to online food delivery.