Grab in 'position to acquire' amid Gojek merger speculation, says CEO

GRAB is in a position to make acquisitions and is financially strong even in a tough year, the company's chief executive Anthony Tan told staff in an internal note, a day after a report that the Singapore-based firm is closing in on a merger with Indonesian rival Gojek.

The internal note was first reported by Reuters on Thursday afternoon, and has separately been seen by The Business Times.

In the note, Mr Tan said: "Today, there is speculation again about a Gojek deal ... I know there continues to be questions, so let me share quite simply that our business momentum is good; and as with any market consolidation rumours, we are the ones in a position to acquire."

He added that even in a "tough year" like 2020, Grab is "profitable before overheads", has hit full recovery and become the top food delivery player by revenue in Indonesia, "even though our competitor had a headstart by a few years".

"There will always be rumours and gossip. Don't let those distract us. Let's stay focused on the work we need to do and the people we served," he said in the note.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported, based on sources, that Grab and Gojek have made substantial progress in working out a deal. One structure with substantial support involves Mr Tan becoming chief of the combined entity, while Gojek executives run the combined business in Indonesia, under the Gojek brand.

However, the report added that the talks are still fluid and may not result in a transaction. BT has reached out to Grab and Gojek for comment.

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