Media & Telecom

EXCLUSIVE Southeast Asia's Grab considering U.S. IPO this year -sources

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SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab is exploring a listing in the United States this year, encouraged by robust investor appetite for IPOs, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The IPO could raise at least $2 billion, one of the sources said, which would likely make it the largest overseas share offering by a Southeast Asian company.

"The market is good and the business is doing better than before. This should work well for public markets," he said.

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The plans, including the size of the issue and timing, have not been finalised and are subject to market conditions, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak about the matter.

Singapore-based Grab declined comment on the potential IPO.

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A Grab logo is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore March 21, 2019. Picture taken March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Anshuman Daga/File Photo

Grab, whose backers include SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T), has expanded rapidly from its beginnings as a ride-hailing venture in Malaysia in 2012 to become the region's most valuable startup worth more than $16 billion.

The company, which also offers financial services and recently gained a digital bank licence in Singapore, said this month that group revenue had recovered to be comfortably above pre-pandemic levels.

It has also said its ride-hailing business is breaking even in all its operating markets, including Indonesia, the biggest. It expects its food delivery business to break even by the end of the year.

The IPO plans would come after merger discussions with Indonesian rival Gojek were dropped. read more

Gojek and Indonesian e-commerce leader Tokopedia are in advanced talks for a $18 billion merger ahead of a potential dual listing in Jakarta and the United States, Reuters reported this month. read more

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Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Edwina Gibbs

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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