IPO

Bancorp Founder Betsy Cohen To Take New SPAC Public

Bancorp Founder To Go Public With New SPAC

Betsy Cohen, who founded and formerly operated The Bancorp, is planning to take a $750 million shell company public this week.

CNBC reported that FTAC Olympus Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), will be listed on the NASDAQ with the goal of merging or acquiring financial technology (FinTech) businesses.

SPACs, so-called “blank check” or shell companies, are typically founded with a single mission to buy a company and take it public within 24 months. 

Ryan Gilbert, general partner at Propel Venture Partners, the San Francisco-based data analysis platform, will act as CEO, while Cohen will serve as chair.

The network reported that SPACs have been on fire this year. Since January, 51 of these offerings have raised a record $21.5 billion, up 145 percent compared to the same period a year ago, according to Goldman Sachs. 

Cohen and her team have some experience with the SPAC trend. Earlier this month, Cohen, as chair of the board of directors at FinTech Acquisition Corp. III, a Philadelphia-based SPAC, announced a merger with Paya, an Atlanta-based payment processor. The deal values the combined company at $1.3 billion.

The company raised $345 million in its initial public offering in November 2018 and is listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol FTAC. The transaction includes commitments for a $250 million common stock private placement from investors including Franklin Templeton and Wellington Management Company. 

“Integrating payment solutions with software is the fastest-growing segment of the payments industry, and Paya is perfectly positioned as the partner of choice for sophisticated software providers and middle-market business clients across multiple attractive verticals,” Cohen said in a statement at the time. “[Paya CEO] Jeff [Hack] and his team have created innovative solutions that anticipate the needs of the market, which provides a clear, strategic vision for accelerating growth at Paya.”

In June, famed investor William Ackman was seeking to raise $3 billion in an IPO for his blank check company, the largest of this type of firm to date. The new company would be named Pershing Square Tontine Holdings. The plan is to offer 150 million shares at $20 per share, according to the firm’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It will be focused on “mature” tech unicorns valued at more than $1 billion.

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