Gojek closes in on deal to buy 5% of taxi operator Blue Bird

JAKARTA: Gojek, the Indonesian all-purpose super app provider, is nearing an agreement to buy 5% of top local taxi operator PT Blue Bird, according to people familiar with the matter.

Gojek would pay about US$30 million, the people said, asking not to be named discussing a private matter.

That implies a price of more than 20% above what Blue Bird closed at in Jakarta on Monday and would value the company at about US$600 million.

The deal would build on an existing partnership — closely held Gojek already offers taxi reservations for Blue Bird’s taxis on its app — as the companies face mounting competition from Singapore-based Grab Holdings Inc.

It would also mark as one of the latest investments for Gojek, which at US$10 billion is the country’s most valuable startup, as it expands in areas such as food delivery and digital payments.

Asked to comment, Gojek said it doesn’t comment on market speculation. A Blue Bird representative couldn’t immediately comment.

“The stake acquisition should bring further synergies,” Jessica Pratiwi, an analyst at RHB Sekuritas Indonesia, said in a note to clients.

Bookings through Gojek currently account for about 20% of Blue Bird’s regular taxi orders, she said.

Blue Bird shares gained as much as 5.1% and were up 0.7% at 9.45am in Jakarta. The shares rallied a record 29% during the final two trading days of last week.