LVMH’s Bernard Arnault — the richest man in Europe — is collaborating with former UniCredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustie to launch a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) for European financial company investments, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Monday (Feb. 15).
The SPAC — Pegasus Europe — is said to be advised by J.P. Morgan, a source told FT, and is aiming to raise “in the low hundreds of millions of euros.”
Pegasus Europe will be sponsored by Tikehau Capital and Financière Agache — a holding company controlled by Groupe Arnault — and will be co-run by former Bank of America dealmaker Diego De Giorgi, Mustier told FT.
The plans have Pegasus listed in Amsterdam, which is emerging as the European capital for SPACs — or blank check companies. SPACs are formed by listing on a stock exchange to raise money to buy another company. Shareholders are not privy to the companies a SPAC will target.
“Europe needs more growth capital to support companies, and the SPAC can be the missing instrument between a traditional IPO and private equity financing,” Mustier told FT.
Arnault, worth $114 billion, includes luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy, Veuve Clicquot, Dom Périgno, and more. Mustier, De Giorgi, Tikehau and Financière Agache will buy at least 10 percent of the Pegasus IPO and “enter into a substantial forward purchase agreement,” according to a statement.
“This is not just about a quick deal. We can offer long-term investment and partnership with our expertise,” Mustier said, per FT.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said in January he doesn’t think the SPAC boom is sustainable. However, SPACs raised almost $79 billion from investors. Further, SPACs have become the latest investment vehicle for celebrities like former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriquez. The 248 SPACs that went public last year raised some $81 billion.