Bill Ackman’s ‘Blank Check’ IPO Set to Begin Trading

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman's latest venture kicks off on Wednesday when his initial public offering of a $4 billion 'blank-check' company begins trading.
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Billionaire investor Bill Ackman, who has cleaned up this year after calling the March stock market bottom, will see his latest venture kick off Wednesday, when an initial public offering of a $4 billion blank-check company begins trading.

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

The $4 billion fundraising goal, which is expected to break an IPO record for the category, was raised from $3 billion just last week with an updated target of 200 million shares on offer.

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. 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. The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PSTH."