PropertyGuru begins trading as a merged company
Group, a Southeast Asian real estate technology company, opened on Friday after completing its $1.61 billion merger with a blank check company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel.
The listing isn’t the first time PropertyGuru (ticker: PGRU) has attempted to go public. In 2019, the Singaporean company attempted to float its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange. but did not go forward. “The market conditions were not optimal. We have decided to take a break,” said Hari Krishnan, CEO and Managing Director of PropertyGuru. Barrons of the New York Stock Exchange.
Instead, PropertyGuru chose to reinvest in the business. In 2020, it raised $220 million in a funding round led by TPG (TPG) and
(KKR). “Our business is stronger than it has ever been. We felt the company was well positioned to monetize the post-Covid recovery period,” Krishnan said.
On Friday, shares of PropertyGuru (ticker: PGRU) closed at $8.60, down 14% on its first day as a merged company. PropertyGuru closed its merger on Friday with Bridgetown 2 Holdings Limited, which went public in January 2021 at $10 per share.
Founded in 2007, PropertyGuru is an online property search company that consumers use to find a home to buy, rent or invest in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. The company had connected more than 52 million property seekers with more than 57,000 agents as of June 30, according to regulatory filings.
Bridgetown 2 is the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, which is backed by Li’s investment unit, Pacific Century Group, and Thiel’s Thiel Capital. The merger, announced in July, gives PropertyGuru an enterprise value of $1.36 billion and a net worth of $1.61 billion.
SPACs raise funds through an initial public offering with the goal of finding a private company and merging with it. The money raised from the IPO is placed in a trust that earns interest until there is a merger. SPACs also have a deadline. They must complete a business combination within a certain time frame or risk having to return the money to the investors. Most SPACs that went public in 2021 have 18-24 months to find and complete a merger.
Bridgetown 2 is part of the SPAC class of 2021, the 613 blank check companies that went public that year, raising $162.5 billion, according to data from SPAC Research. More than 50 SPACs as of 2021, including Bridgetown 2, have completed a business combination, Renaissance Capital said. This means that around 560 companies with this year’s blank check have not yet reached an agreement.
SPACs were once one of their hottest sectors in the IPO market. Their fortunes reversed after several poorly executed trades. SPACs typically list their stocks at $10, but many of those stocks haven’t traded well. The majority of SPACs that have closed deals are below $10, Renaissance Capital said.
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(VCSA), a vacation rental management platform, fell 20%.
Asked about the drop in SPAC shares, Krishnan pointed to the companies. SPACs are a “proven business model”. There’s nothing exotic about it,” he said. Companies wishing to list their shares must have “a good unit economy, a well-run company. Good novelty. All of these fundamentals remain the same whether you do a traditional IPO or a SPAC,” he said. Krishnan did not comment on PropertyGuru’s stock performance on Friday.
Some investors said Barrons that the delay in reaching an agreement is due to the fact that some private companies are not ready to go public. Krishnan said there are several things a company must meet to trade publicly, including having the right governance and structure.
“The journey to becoming a publicly traded company takes effort,” he said.
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