Ride-hailing and payments decacorn Gojek has invested in the retail business of the Jakarta-based conglomerate Lippo Group, according to a disclosure to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX).
The documents show that Gojek, through PT Pradipa Darpa Bangsa, bought 4.76% of PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA), worth Rp144.85 billion ($10.2 million), from its parent company PT Multipolar Tbk.
The buyer, PT Pradipa Darpa Bangsa, is almost entirely (99.996%) owned by PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa (Gojek’s legal name), while the rest is owned by PT Dompet Karya Anak Bangsa (GoPay, the payments arm of Gojek).
Andre Soelistyo, the co-CEO of Gojek, is the commissioner of the board of PT Pradipa Darpa Bangsa. Its top management also includes Hans Patuwo, the president director; and Thomas Kristian Husted, the director. Patuwo also serves as the chief operating officer of Gojek, while Husted is the group chief financial officer.
Multipolar also sold shares to two Cayman Islands-based special purpose vehicle companies — Panbridge Investment Ltd (3.33%), and Threadmore Capital Ltd (3.81%) — in the deal. The total stake shed by Multipolar in MPPA adds up to 11.9%.
The Lippo group will still be the biggest shareholder in the retail business with a 38% stake. The conglomerate has interests spanning real estate, hospitality, health care, and education.
“MPPA is a strategic investment that can give good returns in the future,” said Agus Aris Munandar, director at PT Multipolar Tbk in the statement.
As of March 2021, MPPA operates 208 retail stores and groceries across Indonesia, under seven brand names, with a focus on the FMCG sector. The largest brand is Hypermart with 100 stores. Other brands include Foodmart, Primo, Hyfresh, Boston (health and beauty), FMX, and the wholesaler SmartClub.
In 2020, amid the pandemic, the retailer had collaborated with many digital players including Gojek’s arch-rival Grab-owned Grabmart, e-commerce platform Shopee, SoftBank-backed marketplace Tokopedia, and Djarum group- backed Blibli.
As of 2020, MPAA recorded a net loss of Rp345.95 billion ($24.37 million) compared to Rp618,56 billion ($43.58 million). Meanwhile, its revenue decreased to Rp6.75 trillion ($475.57 million) from last year’s Rp8.65 trillion ($609.43 million).
During the pandemic, the firm (MPPA) has accelerated the business by leveraging digital platforms such as ride- hailing platforms, e-commerce platforms, and messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
FMCG, estimated to be worth $50 billion in Indonesia, is one of the most promising sectors in the country, having attracted numerous investors in the past year. For instance, the FMCG B2B platform GudangAda secured a total of $36 million over two rounds in just over three months from investors including Sequoia India, Alpha JWC, and Wavemaker Partners.