Bill Ackman’s ‘Blank Check’ IPO Begins Trading at $21 a Share

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman's latest venture targeting 'mature unicorns' kicks off trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $21 a share, netting $4.2 billion.
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Billionaire investor Bill Ackman, who has cleaned up this year after calling the March stock market bottom, saw his latest venture kick off Wednesday in a blank-check initial public offering that netted $4.2 billion out of the gate.

The blank-check investment vehicle - Pershing Square Tontine Holdings - which last month filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to offer 150 million shares at $20 apiece, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $21 a share under the symbol "PSTH."

The company will focus on targeting so-called “Mature Unicorns.”

Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital, will invest another $1 billion in the company, while having the option to bring the total value to $6.45 billion, according to the late-June filing said. Ackman also plans to invest $1 billion of his own money.

A blank check company, more formally known as a special purpose acquisition vehicle, is a development stage company that has no specific business plan or purpose, or has indicated its business plan is to engage in a merger or acquisition with an unidentified target.

Though Ackman hasn't revealed which companies he's eyeing to take over, previous regulatory filings said he's looking for "high-quality, venture-backed businesses" and "mature unicorns."

Speculation of what some of those business might be have ramped up in recent weeks, ranging from the eponymous media empire of ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to coronavirus-plagued home-rental platform Airbnb to AT&T's (T) - Get Report struggling satellite TV provider DirectTV.

Citigroup, Jefferies and UBS Investment Bank are the joint book-running managers.