PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

GoTo Denies Report of Merger Talks With Grab Holdings

GoTo has denied that it is in merger talks with Grab Holdings.

The company said in a Tuesday (Feb. 13) filing that it “is not having any discussion on such matters,” Reuters reported Tuesday.

Bloomberg reported Friday (Feb. 9) that GoTo and Grab Holdings — which are both Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food-delivery companies — had restarted merger talks.

“We have only just been aware of the issue from the mass media,” GoTo said in the filing cited by Reuters. “Through this letter, the company would like to convey that generally the company cannot comment on rumors circulating in the market. The company would also like to emphasize that currently, the company is not having any discussion on such matters.”

The Bloomberg report also included a denial by a GoTo spokesperson, who told the media outlet that “no such discussion is taking place.”

Grab did not comment in the Bloomberg report and did not reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

GoTo has been pressured by losses but reported core positive earnings in the latest quarter, according to the Tuesday report by Reuters. Details on that quarter, the final quarter of 2023, will be released in March.

Bloomberg reported Friday that GoTo and Grab were in preliminary discussions and were exploring various scenarios for a potential merger, citing unnamed sources and adding that the discussions have been on and off and may not result in a deal.

This is not the first time Grab and GoTo have explored a potential merger, the report said. This time around, discussions were reignited after GoTo relinquished control of its eCommerce unit, Tokopedia, to ByteDance’s TikTok in December.

TikTok and GoTo announced in January that they had formed a strategic partnership in Indonesia, with Tokopedia and TikTok Shop Indonesia combining under the PT Tokopedia entity that is now jointly owned by GoTo and TikTok. TikTok holds a controlling stake.

In addition, TikTok has committed to invest over $1.5 billion in this entity over time, providing the business with future funding without additional dilution to GoTo. GoTo remains an ecosystem partner to Tokopedia, providing digital financial services and on-demand services.