Boutique investment bankPerella Weinberg Partners has agreed to go public by combining with a blank-check company sponsored by finance entrepreneur Betsy Cohen, according to a person familiar with the matter.
FinTech Acquisition Corporation IV, Cohen’s $230 million special purpose acquisition vehicle, will acquire the firm through a transaction in which investors are committing $125 million of private financing, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing the agreement. The deal — likely valuing the boutique at around $1 billion — is on track to be announced this week.
A spokeswoman for Perella Weinberg declined to comment, while a representative for Cohen’s SPAC didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Her firmemerged as the likely acquirer soon after Bloomberg reported in November that Perella Weinberg was in talks with blank-check suitors.
Perella Weinberg’s market debut is meant to open up a fresh phase of expansion — a move long anticipated by the industry. Ever since Wall Street veterans Joe Perella and Peter Weinberg founded the firm in 2006, investment bankers have speculated on when it might pursue an initial public offering to raise money for itself and owners.
Cohen, who founded Jefferson Bank and Bancorp Inc., a provider of tech solutions to non-bank financial companies, has been involved with several blank-check firms, all focused on targets in the fintech and technology sectors.
That experience may give her an edge after the pandemic unleashed a flood of new SPACs this year setting out to hunt bargains. The crowded field will test the ability of managers to find and acquire attractive targets at prices that generate adequate returns for backers.
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