Europe’s first American-style blank check company just landed

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The first American-style blank check company has landed in Europe, as demand for special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, in the region begins to rebound amid a $ 100 billion surge in the Atlantic. . German tech investor Klaus Hommels on Wednesday launched a SPAC through his venture capital firm Lakestar, which will seek to buy a late-stage European tech company worth between 750 million and 4 billion euros (4.8 billion euros). of dollars).

Lakestar SPAC 1 SE seeks to raise up to 275 million euros and will be listed in Frankfurt. It will be the third European blank check company to launch in the space of a week, and a clear sign that the deal frenzy that has gripped Wall Street is reaching the continent. Read: Europe Joins Wall Street’s Boom in ‘Blank Check’ Firms It is also the first US-style SPAC in Europe, allowing investors to bail out their money if they fail to approve an acquisition target. That compares to the UK, where investors are locked in as soon as a SPAC goes public, making many wary of participating in blank check companies. “Listing through SPAC can help us close the gaps that we traditionally have in Europe when it comes to equipping our companies with sufficient capital,” Hommels said in a statement. “The greatest needs involve companies that require 200 to 300 million euros of capital to continue growing. Therefore, our objective is to invest in a European company that historically would have needed to obtain that capital from the US markets. ” Hommels, an early investor in streaming service Spotify SPOT, + 0.41%, joins former UniCredit chief Jean-Pierre Mustier, who earlier this week teamed up with LVMH MC, -0.64% of billionaire Bernard Arnault to launch a SPAC in Amsterdam. This was followed by ESG Core Investments ESG, -0.58%, which on February 12 raised 250 million euros in the Dutch city to buy companies focused on the environmental, social and governance space. SPACs raise capital through initial public offerings and then look for private companies to buy or merge, before going public. They have two years to close a deal or they have to return the cash, which is held in trust, to their investors. Read: Former Barclays Investment Bank Chairman Plans To Raise $ 250 Million With Blank Check Company Most SPACs targeting European companies launched in recent months, many of which are led by former European bank executives high-profile, have chosen to raise funds in the US, which has the deepest liquidity reserves. Despite the US SPAC IPOs raising more than $ 100 billion in capital over the past year, according to data provider Refinitiv, Europe has hardly seen any action. Before the activity in the past seven days, blank check companies had raised just $ 132 million on European exchanges. JPMorgan JPM, + 0.31% is advising Lakestar on the deal. This week, the US bank promoted senior negotiators Guillermo Baygual and Lukasz Dziarnowski to head a new unit specialized in SPAC in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Financial News reported.