Receptionists work at Tokopedia's headquarters in Jakarta last January. (SP Photo/Ruth Semiono)

Tokopedia Appoints Advisors, Confirms Go Public Plan Is in Motion


DECEMBER 17, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia's e-commerce decacorn Tokopedia has appointed Morgan Stanley and Citi as advisors to speed up a process to go public, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement came after a report saying Bridgetown Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by Silicon Valley veteran investor Peter Thiel and Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, was considering a merger with Tokopedia. Li, through his investment company, Pacific Century Group, was already a minority investor in Tokopedia.

The e-commerce said it considered accelerating its plans to become a public company but has not yet decided on a specific market and method.

"SPAC is also one of the potential options that we can consider, but we haven't decided yet," Tokopedia management said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Bridgetown was exploring the structure and feasibility of a deal with Tokopedia, in a deal that would value the company between $8-10 billion. 

Special purpose acquisition companies like Bridgetown are popularly known as the 'blank check company,' established for mergers, stock exchanges, asset acquisitions, stock purchases, and business reorganizations.

Bridgetown raised $550 million from the initial public offering in October and is listed in Nasdaq. The company said in its prospectus that it focuses on prospective sectors such as technology, financial services, and media in Southeast Asia.

One of Bridgetown's backers, Li, was already a minority investor in Tokopedia through his investment company, Pacific Century Group. Daniel Wong, Bridgetown's chief executive officer, is a senior vice president in Li's Pacific Century Group and has been a member of Tokopedia's board of commissioners since 2017. Pacific Century previously led series D funding to Tokopedia.

Previously, Tokopedia CEO William Tanuwijaya said that his party always strives to build a good management team and sticks to its mission, which is to bring digital economic equity, which has led to the company's success in attracting global investors.  

Last November, Tokopedia raised  $350 million from investment by tech giant Google and Singapore wealth fund Temasek Holdings, according to a report from Bloomberg. Japanese investment giant Softbank Vision Fund and Jack Ma's  Alibaba Group also took part in a $1.1 billion funding round in 2018. 

E-commerce companies like Tokopedia benefit from a surge in sales this year as customers turn to online shopping amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In Indonesia, Shopee is Tokopedia's strongest competitor in terms of consumer visits, data from Kuala Lumpur-based shopping aggregator IPrice showed.