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‘No plans for any sort of merger’: Gojek dismisses report of merger talks with Grab

SINGAPORE — Ride-hailing company Gojek on Tuesday (Feb 25) swiftly dismissed media reports that it is in merger talks with competitor, Grab.

‘No plans for any sort of merger’: Gojek dismisses report of merger talks with Grab

Technology industry news site The Information reported that Gojek apparently wanted a 50-50 deal if a merger were to happen, while Grab wanted a significant majority.

SINGAPORE — Ride-hailing company Gojek on Tuesday (Feb 25) swiftly dismissed media reports that it is in merger talks with competitor Grab.

“There are no plans for any sort of merger, and recent media reports regarding discussions of this nature are not accurate,” a Gojek spokesperson told TODAY.

Grab declined to comment on the matter, referring to the contents of these reports as “market rumours and speculation”.

Earlier in the day, technology industry news site The Information, citing unnamed sources, reported that discussions of a merger between the two companies — each commanding valuations of over US$10 billion (S$14 billion) — have become “serious” over the last couple of months.

The report also said that Grab's president Ming Maa and Gojek's chief executive officer Andre Soelistyo met earlier this month for the latest round of talks but both sides were still a considerable distance from a potential deal.

That is because Gojek wanted a 50-50 deal if a merger were to happen, while Grab wanted a significant majority, The Information reported, referring to what Grab had allegedly told its major investors.

Other stumbling blocks, the report added, included the valuation of both companies and regulatory clearance for a merger.

The article has since been carried on other media platforms such as Singapore-based financial news site DealStreetAsia, which had previously heard from an insider that Grab and Gojek may look at stopping the price war in both the ride-hailing and food delivery market to stem losses.

It cited an unnamed senior executive linked to one of the two ride-hailing companies, who pointed out that ride-hailing firms Ola and Uber are in a similar arrangement in India where they had scaled back driver incentives and raised prices during the past two years.

An unnamed Gojek “top executive”, however, denied this to DealStreetAsia and said that no such discussions had taken place between Gojek and Grab.

This executive added that any such agreement to either cut down on subsidies for the drivers or increase prices was not possible because it would be illegal and could result in regulators clamping down on them for price collusion.

If the merger comes to fruition, it would be the second that Grab has been involved in with a ride-hailing firm.  

In March 2018, Grab acquired Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia amid intense competition between the competitors. In return, Uber took a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab.

Separately, Grab announced on Tuesday that it has funding of more than US$850 million from Japanese investors. 

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group — the largest bank in Japan — will commit US$706 million, while TIS, a provider of network solutions and system integration services, will commit US$150 million.

The investments will go towards creating “accessible and affordable financial services” for Southeast Asia in order to boost financial inclusion in the region, Grab said in a press release.

Related topics

Gojek Grab ride-hailing merger

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