Grab Holdings and Gojek have reportedly made significant progress in negotiating the merger of their two companies, Bloomberg reported, drawing on information from anonymous sources familiar with the matter. If this agreement is carried out and it seems on the right track, it would create the largest merger of two digital companies in Southeast Asia ever.
Grab and Gojek, two giants with similar ambitions
Originally, Grab was a start-up specializing in taxi and VTC services, but its activities have nonetheless grown rapidly: grocery delivery, digital payment system, online banking, hotel reservations, ticketing, insurance … So many areas that enabled the Singaporean company to become a super app, scoring $ 14 billion in valuation.
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Gojek was born in Indonesia in 2009 and in the early days brought motorcycle suppliers into contact with their customers. Again, the company has grown rapidly to expand its operations (transportation, logistics, grocery delivery, finance, entertainment, etc.) to transform itself into a $ 10 billion super app.
Not only do these two giants offer similar services, but they also compete in the same geographic area: Southeast Asia. In this context, the two rivals have fought a fierce and costly battle in recent years to establish their supremacy. A situation that was not to the taste of investors (including Softbank), who encouraged the two companies to merge through a merger in an attempt to stem the financial chasm created by this confrontation while creating one of the most powerful companies in the region.
Negotiations on track but not yet completed
A merger that seems closer today than ever before. After a year of old rivalries and ego wars between the leaders of the two companies slowing down the process, the negotiations are finally on the road to success. Indeed, according to Bloomberg informants, the disagreements between the two companies would have been largely reduced.
Some of the things the two companies have been able to reach agreement on include the appointment of Anthony Tan, co-founder of Grab, as CEO of the merged company. Gojek executives would run the new business in Indonesia. According to a source from Bloomberg, the two companies could be managed separately for a long period of time after the merger.
While the negotiations seem to be going in the right direction, it is not certain that they will be truly successful. On the one hand, there are still some parts of the business that need to be discussed between the two companies. On the other hand, the agreement must be approved by governments and regulators to be effective. However, it is likely that this will raise important questions about antitrust laws. Obviously, there is still a long way to go before the two companies merge.