Indonesia’s e-commerce giant PT Tokopedia said it has hired Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. as advisers to help accelerate its plan to go public.
“We have not decided yet which market and method, and are still considering options,” the Jakarta-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. “SPAC is a potential option that we could consider but we have not committed to anything at the moment.”
The comments come after Bloomberg News reported Bridgetown Holdings Ltd., the blank-check company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, is considering a potential merger with Tokopedia. The special purpose acquisition company is exploring the structure and feasibility of a deal with Tokopedia. The SoftBank Group Corp.-backed firm could be valued at $8 billion to $10 billion in a transaction.
For Tokopedia, a sale to a SPAC would be a speedier way to list in the U.S. Still, William Tanuwijaya, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tokopedia, has in the past said he would seek a dual listing so employees and consumers in Indonesia can own shares of the company.
Tokopedia is Indonesia’s second most valuable startup after ride-hailing and delivery giant Gojek. Its early backers include SoftBank Vision Fund, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Sequoia India. Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Temasek Holdings Pte have also invested about $350 million in Tokopedia, people familiar with the matter have said.
“An IPO of Tokopedia would give investors a way to invest directly in an Indonesian e-commerce rival,” of Sea Ltd., the only major Southeast Asian internet company listed in the U.S. Bloomberg Intelligence Matthew Kanterman wrote in a note.
Bridgetown raised $550 million in a U.S. initial public offering in October, following other so-called blank-check companies such as those associated with billionaire investor Bill Ackman and former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Merging with a SPAC has become an increasingly popular method for closely-held businesses to raise capital for growth. A potential merger with Tokopedia would also be in-line with the strategy that Bridgetown set out in its prospectus: to focus on a target in the technology, financial services or media sectors in Southeast Asia.