JPMorgan Chase – Serial Dealmaker Foley Seeks $1.5 Billion With Two New SPACs
Serial dealmaker Bill Foley is seeking to raise $1.5 billion for two new blank-check firms, as repeat issuers accelerate the pace of new offerings.
Austerlitz Acquisition Corp. I, founded by Foley, filed Wednesday to raise $500 million in a planned initial public offering. The special purpose acquisition company will initially focus on targets in the financial technology, information services and business services sectors, according to registration documents lodged with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Another SPAC backed by Foley, called Austerlitz Acquisition Corp. II, revealed plans for a $1 billion offering in a separate filing Wednesday. It will hunt for targets in the same industries. Credit Suisse Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are leading the two IPOs. Each SPAC will offer units at $10 apiece, consisting of one class A ordinary share and a quarter of a warrant.
Blank-check companies completed a record $26 billion of share sales in January as they took advantage of buoyant markets and strong investor demand for the booming asset class. That helped fuel the fastest-ever start to a year for initial public offerings.
The most well-known sponsors are coming back to the market faster and faster. In a single day last month, former Citigroup Inc. rainmaker Michael Klein filed to raise funds for two separate blank-check companies, adding to the series of five he’s already listed under the Churchill Capital moniker. Serial dealmaker Alec Gores revealed plans on Jan. 20 for his latest SPAC, Gores Holdings VII Inc., and then registered for Gores Holdings VIII Inc. a week later.
Foley, 76, is a veteran investor who’s helped build and lead companies including Fidelity National Financial Inc., the largest U.S. title insurance firm. He has a track record of doing SPAC deals in the financial services sector, with one of his companies agreeing in December to acquire Paysafe Group Ltd., an online payments firm backed by Blackstone Group Inc.
The former U.S. Air Force captain names many of his firms after events in the Second Punic War, fought between the Roman army and the Carthaginians around 200 B.C. Cannae Holdings Inc., Trebia Acquisition Corp. and Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp. all took their names from famous battles of that period.
He’s turning to more recent history for his two latest SPACs. The widely-studied battle of Austerlitz took place in 1805, when French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops defeated Austrian and Russian forces.