The Zaoui brothers join the emerging Spac movement in Europe


The Zaoui brothers trading duo worked with several well-known European executives to create a special purpose acquisition company that raised 300 million euros to invest in healthcare and technology businesses in the region.

According to people familiar with the matter, Odyssey Acquisition will be listed on Euronext Amsterdam, because the main beneficiary of the transfer of euro-denominated stock trading from London after Brexit has become Europe.

Spacs goes public on the stock market and then looks for a target company to merge with. According to data from data provider Refinitiv, driven by a series of activities in the United States, they have raised nearly $110 billion from 381 listed companies worldwide this year, of which more than 500 companies are seeking acquisitions. The European market lags behind: According to Refinitiv data, only 18 Spacs have raised about $5 billion between them so far this year.

After 18 months of prosperity, the event has Slow down In the United States, so-called pipeline financing—an important source of funds for blank check companies to complete acquisitions—has dried up.

Michael Zaoui is the chairman of Odyssey and his brother Yoël is the co-CEO of Jean Raby, the former CEO of Natixis Investment Management in Paris.

Michael was the co-head of Morgan Stanley’s European mergers and acquisitions, and Yoël was the co-head of Goldman Sachs’ global mergers and acquisitions. After that, the two independently established Zaoui & Co, a London-based investment banking boutique company. year 2013.

Odyssey will be supported by Zaoui & Co at all stages from the determination of the target to the completion of the transaction. Michel Combes, President of SoftBank International and former CEO of Sprint, Altice, and Alcatel-Lucent, will advise on telecommunications, media and technology transactions. For healthcare transactions, it will draw on the experience of Olivier Brandicourt, the former boss of the French pharmaceutical group Sanofi and an adviser to the Blackstone Group.

“This is a strong and experienced team. The Spac market in Europe is not as well developed compared to the US,” said Peter Schoenfeld, the founder of PSAM. PSAM is a $3 billion hedge fund headquartered in New York and is buying Zaouis’s blank check. The first day of the company.

“As Europe emerges from the pandemic, I expect private companies will seek capital to expand their scale. Odyssey Acquisition will be able to deliver this capital more efficiently than the traditional IPO process.”

Odyssey’s IPO was underwritten by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. The reason behind it is to support the development of European companies as the pandemic accelerates behavioral changes and the digital transformation of the entire industry.

More and more Europe-private companies valued at more than $1 billion-are emerging at the intersection of healthcare and technology.They include companies such as Health insurance start Allen; Doctolib, a Online medical appointment management service Connect patients with healthcare professionals; and Benevolent artificial intelligence, The development of artificial intelligence and computational medical technology.

Spac founders attracted by potential prosperous profits From a successful acquisition target. The promoters of these vehicles usually get 20% of their shares at a symbolic cost.Jim Chanos, the main short seller last week, accused some people who listed the company through SPAC of “playing Fast and loose With their predictions” to attract retail investors, which also Under censorship United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The target size of 300 million euros will place Odyssey among the larger Spacs in Europe. In April, the Bad Cheque Company Created by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault He and former UniCredit president Jean Pierre Mustier invested in a European financial company to go public in Amsterdam and raised 500 million euros.

Since its launch in 2013, Zaoui & Co has advised on transactions worth 225 billion euros.Recently, it Suggest SoftBank Sold British chip designer Arm Holdings to Nvidia, Peugeot family for US$40 billion $50 billion merger Competition between French PSA and Italian-American rival Fiat Chrysler.


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