Indonesian e-commerce platform Tokopedia has confirmed that it is working towards an initial public offering. “We are considering to accelerate our plan to go public and we have appointed Morgan Stanley and Citi to be our advisors,” a spokesperson told KrASIA on Wednesday. “We have not decided yet which market and method, and are still considering options.”
The statement comes after merger rumors with blank-check company Bridgetown Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ: BTWN) emerged earlier this week. The spokesperson added that a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), like Bridgetown, is “a potential option that we could consider.” According to Bloomberg, a transaction could value Tokopedia as high as USD 10 billion.
Founded in September 2020 by billionaire Peter Thiel and Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, Bridgetown raised USD 550 million in an IPO in October with the intention to invest in “new economy” startups in Southeast Asia. According to the source, Li is already a minority investor in Tokopedia.
Blank-check companies, also known as SPACs, are formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. Even though these entities have been around for decades, they became increasingly popular this year, in which they already raised USD 70 billion.
For private businesses, merging with a SPAC has several advantages. First and foremost, they instantly become a public company, skipping the many hassles of the traditional IPO procedures.
Tokopedia has been considering an IPO since 2019, without providing a specific timeline. President Patrick Cao told KrASIA last year that they would prioritize a local listing while considering a second, yet-undecided location.