Grab tells employees it’s ‘in position to acquire’ after Gojek merger report

SINGAPORE (CNA) – The CEO of Singapore ride-hailing company Grab told employees in an internal note on Thursday that the firm is in a position to make acquisitions, following a report it is close to a merger with regional rival Gojek.

He said that Grab, which has evolved from a Southeast Asian ride-hailing app operator to offer services such as food delivery and insurance, had become profitable before overheads, and business had fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Grab and Indonesia’s Gojek have made substantial progress in talks to merge Southeast Asia’s two most valuable start-ups, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

“There is speculation again about a Gojek deal,” Anthony Tan, also Grab’s co-founder, told employees in a note seen by Reuters. “Our business momentum is good, and as with any market consolidation rumours, we are the ones in a position to acquire,” he said.

Grab declined comment on Tan’s note and the media report. Gojek also declined comment.

Sources familiar with the matter previously said that over the last few years, large investors of the two companies have backed a merger.

Tan, however, did not give any specific information about a potential deal with Gojek. “There will always be rumours and gossip. Don’t let those distract us,” he told staff.

A Grab Food delivery driver. PHOTO: CNA