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Southeast Asias largest ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab Holdings is set to announce later on Tuesday a merger with U.S.-based Altimeter that is set to value Grab at nearly $40 billion and lead to a public listing, three people told Reuters.

By Anshuman Daga

SINGAPORE, April 13 (Reuters) - Southeast Asias largest ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab Holdings is set to announce later on Tuesday a merger with U.S.-based Altimeter that is set to value Grab at nearly $40 billion and lead to a public listing, three people told Reuters.

The merger will make it the biggest blank-check company deal ever.

Grabs agreement with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by Altimeter Capital includes a $4 billion private investment in public equity (PIPE) from a group of Asian and global investors including Fidelity International and Janus Henderson.

The deal for Singapore-based Grab, which sources have previously said was valued at just over $16 billion last year, is a big win for its early backers such as Japans SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T and Chinas Didi Chuxing.

A U.S. listing will give Grab extra firepower in its main market, Indonesia, where local rival Gojek is close to sealing a merger with the countrys leading e-commerce business Tokopedia.

Grab declined to comment. There was no response from Silicon Valley-based Altimeter to an emailed request for comment.

The two fund managers also did not respond to an emailed query. The sources declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The nearly $40 billion valuation is based on a proforma equity value, two of the sources said.

With operations in eight countries and 398 cities, Grab is already Southeast Asias most valuable start-up.

Leveraging its ride-hailing business started in 2012, the firm has expanded into offering food and grocery deliveries, courier services, digital payments, and is now making a big push into insurance and lending in a region of 650 million people.

(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

((anshuman.daga@tr.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Reuters

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