Grab-foodpanda deal to drag into 1Q2024 on price issue

KUALA LUMPUR: A plan by Grab Holdings Ltd to take over foodpanda is taking longer than expected with a new timeline for the deal now dragging into the first quarter of 2024.

Sources told Business Times that discussions between Grab and owner of foodpanda, Frankfurt-listed Delivery Hero, have stalled as both sides were not able to agree on foodpanda's valuation.

It is understood that foodpanda requested for a sum that was considered "too high" for Grab to agree to.

Business Times reported in November that Delivery Hero was likely to seal the deal to dispose of its foodpanda operation here by year-end.

The Malaysian operation is one of seven foodpanda markets in Southeast Asia that Delivery Hero is selling, with Singapore-based Grab Holdings rumoured as frontrunner.

Other regional markets are Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Foodpanda and Grab declined to comment on the matter when contacted.

The possible sale sparked much-debate on the possible monopoly by the Singapore-based company in p-hailing (delivery of food, drinks and packages), with calls for the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) to investigate the matter.

News on the sale first came to light when German's Wirtschaftswoche business magazine reported in September that Grab was the potential buyer for foodpanda's business in the region and could fork out more than one billion euro to acquire the online food and grocery delivery platform in all seven markets.

Delivery Hero, however, stated that the value of the deal was yet to be confirmed.

In November, reports of a potential contender for foodpanda in China's delivery giant Meituan fizzled out when the company said it was not interested in the acquisition, making Grab the frontrunner for the sale.

On Monday, Delivery Hero said it would close its global tech hubs in Turkey and Taiwan as well as reduce its headcount in Berlin, Germany to cut costs.

The company has cut its Berlin headquarters workforce and global service roles by around 13 per cent this year, including a round of layoffs in January. 

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