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Grab Holdings Inc. is exploring going public in the US through a merger with a blank-check company as the Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery giant seeks to expedite its listing process, according to people familiar with the matter.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, which are already advising Grab on its initial public offering plans, are working with the startup to identify special purpose acquisition companies that it could combine with, the people said. Still, a US listing via a traditional IPO isn’t off the table, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.
Representatives for Grab and JPMorgan declined to comment, while a representative for Morgan Stanley didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), a shell company whose sponsors raise money from investors in order to buy a private company and give it a berth on a public exchange, would allow Grab -- Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup backed by SoftBank Group Corp. -- to accelerate its listing process. Several of the region’s tech unicorns including Traveloka are considering going public through blank-check companies to ride on the red-hot sentiment.