Malaysian tech entrepreneur Anthony Tan, who is Grab Co-founder, looks all set to increase his control over Grab when the Southeast Asian Tech Group joins Nasdaq later this year. In a move that will be the envy of his Silicon Valley peers, the Grab co-founder will have 60.4 percent voting rights in the company.
Remarkably, he just owns a 2.2 percent stake in the company. The feat is comparable to that of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and unprecedented for a deal involving a special purpose acquisition company. The holdings would be laid out in a particular manner.
But his grip on the SoftBank-backed company’s direction marks the first time a Spac deal has entrenched a founder’s voting rights to this degree. The company’s associates are not impressed by the decision as they feel such a majority voting right for a chief executive of the company which is seeking a SPACs route is unprecedented. The same got confirmed by a team of experts.
“While it is not unusual for high tech companies seeking a listing to entrench management shares with additional voting rights, a 60 percent absolute majority will be the first in the market,” said Robson Lee, a partner at law firm Gibson Dunn in Singapore. Other experts also share Their Hands on the topic, although they might not have more knowledge on the dealings.