US SPAC Tailwind Hunting For European Unicorns To Take Public

SPAC, Tailwind, Europe, Tech, Unicorns, public filing

Tailwind International, a U.S. special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), is on the hunt for European tech unicorns to take public, according to The Financial Times (FT) on Tuesday (March 2).

Tommy Stadlen, chair of Tailwind and co-founder of venture capital fund Giant, told FT that the SPAC is planning to take European “iconic technology companies” public in the U.S. 

Tailwind’s strategy is to develop a series of SPACs that will target tech startups in the range of $1-$15 billion, Stadlen added. 

SPACs have attracted the attention of record numbers of investors, prompting Tailwind to up the size of its listing to the maximum of $300 million. Tailwind also used the “greenshoe option,” a move that enabled its underwriters to purchase more shares, upping the listing $345 million. People close to the process said there was $3 billion of demand for the initial public offering. 

The U.K. has a growing number of tech startups, making it fertile grounds for partnerships, Stadlen told FT. He said the SPAC is also looking to France, Germany and the Nordic countries.

Tailwind co-founder is Philip Krim, also co-founder of online mattress merchant Casper. The SPAC’s chief executive officer is Pierre Denis, former Jimmy Choo head. The president is Nathalie Gaveau, co-founder of PriceMinister, a French eCommerce site. 

SPACs — also known as blank check companies — are formed to take other firms public. The model was created to get around some of the regulatory hurdles that can slow down or prevent companies from going public. 

February saw a record number of SPACs going public, with 174 filings anticipated to gross $56 billion, per FT, citing FactSet data. Several European tech groups have been in discussions with U.S. SPACs. 

In 2021 alone, 160 SPACs filed for initial public offerings (IPOs) by Feb. 22, totaling over $50 billion. By way of comparison, last year had a total of 248 Spac IPOs raising a total of $83.4 billion.