Super app Grab starts trading on supersized SPAC combination

Grab, the Southeast Asian super app, announced last night that it completed its business combination with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Altimeter Growth. The result? Grab will begin trading today on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “GRAB.”

And it raised a pile of money in the process. Billions, in fact.

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The Grab SPAC failed to, ahem, grab our attention during the recent IPO rush, so it’s the right time to sit back and catch up. This morning, we’re going to refresh our memory of the Grab-SPAC deal, check in on the company’s Q3 2021 performance, and yammer about the company’s early trading. Which, spoiler, is looking good.

Grab’s SPAC deal

One issue that many SPAC-led deals endured lately is redemptions. In essence, SPAC backers can opt to get their money back ahead of a business combination (more here). This has led to some blank-check deals not bringing as much capital to bear as initially expected.

In the case of Grab, redemptions were not a problem. As the company recently reported: “Shareholder redemptions were effectively 0%, at 0.02%.”

So, we should expect that the Grab SPAC deal did in fact raise the money we anticipated for the super app. Indeed, as Grab wrote last night, the “transaction raised gross proceeds of US$4.5 billion in the largest-ever U.S. public market debut by a Southeast Asian company.”

That’s about half the reason we care about the blank-check-led debut of Grab; it’s not just a big deal for a big company, it’s the biggest deal for its region, and it’s heading into its first trading session having received a huge vote of confidence from its SPAC backers.

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