Billionaire investor Richard Li in talks to merge with real estate firm PropertyGuru

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Billionaire investor Richard Li in talks to merge with real estate firm PropertyGuru

- Bridgetown 2 Holdings Ltd., the Blank Check Company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, is in advanced talks to merge with Singapore's online real estate firm PropertyGuru Pte according to people who have knowledge of the matter.

The Special purpose Acquisition Company has been in discussions with PropertyGuru over the potential deal, which could be announced as soon as next month, said people who asked not to be identified, as the information is private. A transaction could cost the combined firm as much as $2 billion, the people said.

New York shares in Bridgetown 2 Holdings rose as much as 2.5%, their biggest daily increase in two months. The stock closed 0.1% higher in June.

PropertyGuru, founded in March by private equity firm KKR Co. and SPAC, is considering a US listing through a merger with a SPAC and has conducted preliminary discussions, Bloomberg News reported in March.

Deliberations are ongoing and could still be fractured or delayed, said the people. The Chief Executive Hari V. Krishnan said the company is always seeking into any beneficial scenario to fund its growth but declined further comment. A representative for Bridgetown 2 Holdings declined to comment.

Founded in 2007 by entrepreneurs Jani Rautiainen and Steve Melhuish, PropertyGuru has become a household name in the property-crazed Singapore. The real estate market also has operations in countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The company scrapped plans for an initial public offering on the Australian stock exchange back in 2019 due to valuation concerns. In September, it announced $300 million in new financing from investors including existing backers KKR and TPG. Last week the start-up inked a deal with REA Group Ltd. ’ s operating entities in Thailand and Malaysia, marking the biggest acquisition in its 14-year history.

Bridgetown 2 Holdings raised about $300 million in a $192 million IPO in January. The blank-check company disclosed in its prospectus that it will focus on targets in the so-called new economy sectors' including technology, financial services or media in Southeast Asia.

Bridgetown Holdings Ltd., the first SPAC backed by Li and Thiel, is in advanced talks to merge with Traveloka from Indonesia, Bloomberg News reported in April.

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