REFILE-UPDATE 1-Softbank-backed Tokopedia undecided on SPAC merger, may opt for IPO

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SINGAPORE Dec 16 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s largest e-commerce platform Tokopedia said on Wednesday it was not committed to a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and was evaluating its market options.

“We are considering to accelerate our plan to go public and we appointed Morgan Stanley and Citi to be our advisors,” a Tokopedia spokeswoman said in a statement. “We have not decided yet which market and methods...A SPAC is a potential option”.

Tokopedia received a merger approach from blank-check acquisition firm Bridgetown Holdings Ltd, but had not decided on a deal, a source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Bridgetown, a SPAC backed by Asian tycoon Richard Li and Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, raised $595 million in an upsized U.S. initial public offering in October.

It has held talks with other Southeast Asian companies for prospective SPAC deals, but has yet to complete a merger, said the source, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak about the matter.

Bloomberg earlier reported that Tokopedia could be valued between $8 billion and $10 billion in such a deal.

Bridgetown, whose shares jumped 31% after the report, did not respond to requests for comment.

Tokopedia, backed by SoftBank Group Corp and Alibaba Group Holding, declared plans earlier this year to start preparing for a public listing but is facing increasing competition from SEA’s Shopee, the biggest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia.

Founded in 2009, Tokopedia provides an online marketplace that allows individuals and businesses in Indonesia to open their own online stores.

According to public documents, Tokopedia is also a major shareholder in OVO, one of Indonesia’s largest e-wallets.

Reporting by Fanny Potkin, editing by Louise Heavens