Between IPOs and mergers and acquisitions, the “Special Purpose Acquisition Company” or “SPAC” are multiplying on the financial markets, and are increasingly attractive. A month after LVMH boss Bernard Arnault [propriétaire des Echos, NDLR], François Pinault has in turn invested in one of these SPACs, empty listed shells used to acquire one or more unlisted companies which thus become without an IPO process.
His sights were set on that set up by the former boss of Credit Suisse and member of the board of directors of Kering since last month, Tidjane Thiam, a spokeswoman for the French billionaire said on Wednesday. The investment in Freedom Acquisition I was made in a personal capacity by the 84-year-old man, Bloomberg said.
Investments in the financial services sector
Freedom Acquisition began operations in New York at the end of February, raising $ 345 million after Tidjane Thiam increased the scale of the transaction. This “SPAC” will invest technology companies in the financial services sector, in developed and developing countries, which show growth and potential for development, he indicated in a previous file.
François Pinault thus doubly joins his main rival in the luxury world Bernard Arnault by joining a “SPAC” created by a veteran of the European bank. Former UniCredit SpA CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier said last month that he was teaming up with Bernard Arnault and French asset manager Tikehau Capital for a “SPAC” listed in Amsterdam.
The growing success of PSPC
Wall Street is the place of a real craze for these “SPAC”. They raised 82 billion in 2020, six times more than the previous year. In January 2021, more than $ 26 billion was raised, and more than 200 PSPCs were floated on the stock exchange, nearly half of which in the United States.
We have seen Michael Klein, former Citigroup, known in particular for mergers and acquisitions of Wall Street, or Bill Ackman, manager of alternative funds, raise billions of dollars. In France, the largest IPO on the Paris Stock Exchange in 2020 was carried out by the Niel-Zouari-Pigasse trio via the SPAC 2MX Organic, at the beginning of December. 300 million euros have been raised.