Grab's bid for foodpanda's Southeast Asia business collapses [BTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: The deal between Grab Holdings Ltd and Delivery Hero on the sale of the latter's foodpanda business in Southeast Asia seems to have collapsed due to issues concerning pricing.

Both parties were not able to agree on the latter's 'sky-high valuation, people familiar with the matter told Business Times.

They added that the sum asked by Frankfurt-listed Delivery Hero was considered "too high" amid Grab's current aim to turn a profit.

Grab is also shifting its focus to enhance its ride sharing services in Singapore.

Comments from Grab and foodpanda were not immediately available.

Business Times previously reported that the price issue had dragged the timeline of the deal to the first quarter of this year.

Initially, Delivery Hero was likely to seal the deal to dispose of its foodpanda operation here by end of last year.

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

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

The possible sale raised concerns on monopoly by the Singapore-based company in the p-hailing (delivery of food, drinks and packages) sector.

Calls were made for the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) to investigate the matter.

Malaysian Institute of Economic Research economist Dr Shankaran Nambiar told Business Times recently that a sale to Grab was a matter for MyCC's consideration and that there was a possible danger that Grab would acquire excessive monopoly through such acquisition.

"However, if Grab does not in any way reduce competition, increase entry barriers and raise prices, then Grab cannot be held responsible for abusing its position. We do have a competition policy and competition laws.  If there is anything to be done, it would be to empower MyCC further," he added.

News on the sale first came to light when German's Wirtschaftswoche business magazine reported in September 2023 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.

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