Grab

Pandemic delivers first crisis lessons to Southeast Asia’s Grab

By Aradhana Aravindan and Anshuman Daga

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, Anthony Tan, the CEO of Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing firm, recalls how he mistook the infection to be a China-only problem, similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003.

As COVID-19 turned into a pandemic, sending markets into a tailspin, the 38-year-old sought advice from titans among his investors including Softbank’s Masayoshi Son and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

The message was clear. No one knew how long the crisis would last or how deep it would be. Tan, who co-founded Grab in 2012 with fellow Harvard Business School alumni Tan Hooi Lin, learnt he had to set thresholds and make decisive moves, even if they were unpopular.

“There’s no more debate, it’s just execution,” he said.

In June, the Singapore-based company laid off around 360 employees, just under 5% of its headcount, after

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Olympic Casino’s asset grab unnerves European junk bond investors

By Yoruk Bahceli

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A sleight of hand by the owner of an Estonian gaming company is alarming investors worried that tactics used by private equity firms in the United States to shift assets away from creditors are coming to Europe.

Olympic Entertainment, owned by private equity firm Novalpina Capital, told bondholders on June 18 it had moved some assets – all its online operations and a Lithuanian business – into an entity not bound by its credit agreements, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The company, which operates the Olympic Casino brand, distributed shares in the separate entity to a parent company controlled by Novalpina, the email said, effectively paying the London-based firm a dividend.

Olympic Entertainment, which had 114 casinos at the end of 2018 in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Italy and Malta, did not respond to requests for comment.

Olympic’s asset shift means holders

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Tour Business Viator Opts for Quality Over Quantity With the Land Grab Ending

Founded 25 years ago, tours and activities business Viator’s initial tactic was to emphasize a curated selection of top experiences in each destination, but Tripadvisor reversed that strategy three months later after acquiring the company in 2014.

At that juncture in November 2014, Tripadvisor decided that quantity would be the way forward as that was a push that some of its rivals were making.

But now, with some 395,000 tour products in the fold, there’s a new pivot.

In a move announced Tuesday and reported by Arival, Viator introduced new product quality standards that would give more exposure to excellent tours and activities, and penalize and even delist others that it finds to be subpar.

In an open letter to operators from president Ben Drew, Viator detailed product quality standards that differentiate “excellent” vendors from merely “good” ones. For example, an excellent tour operator might have at least six quality

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