By Lucy Raitano
(Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Ripplewood said on Tuesday it was planning to list a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in Amsterdam in what will be this year’s second listing of a blank cheque vehicle on the Dutch stock exchange.
Ripplewood’s SPAC, named RA Special Acquisition Corporation, will seek to raise up to $225 million ahead of its market debut on April. 28.
RA will focus on financial services targets in Europe and will have 24 months to clinch a deal. That window can be extended by six months if approved by a shareholder vote.
Goldman Sachs is handling a two-day bookbuilding process which will conclude on Wednesday.
SPACs are investment vehicles that raise money on stock markets to buy private businesses, providing an easy route for the target to go public without going through the more complex process of a traditional initial public offering (IPO).
RA’s listing ranks as the second SPAC deal on Euronext Amsterdam this year after Luxembourg-based GP Bullhound Acquisition I SE went public in February raising 200 million euros from investors.
The Euronext Amsterdam stock market is Europe’s biggest SPAC hub, with blank cheque firms including Dutch Star Companies TWO and Odyssey SPAC also recently finalising their deals.
Meanwhile London has failed to attract as many SPAC deals in recent years despite adopting new listing rules to step up its SPAC pipeline, with only one listing finalised in November.
Along with co-investors, Ripplewood owns 75% of Latvia’s Citadele Bank and is also the second largest shareholder in Egypt-based investment bank EFG Hermes, with an 11.7% stake according to Refinitiv data.
In 1999 Ripplewood partnered with U.S private equity firm JC Flowers to acquire the predecessor bank of Shinsei after it went bankrupt in Japan’s late 1990s banking crisis. Shinsei went public in 2004.
(Reporting by Lucy Raitano, editing by Pamela Barbaglia and David Evans)