Richard Branson investment fund picks Amsterdam over London for IPO
Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson has plans to go to the Amsterdam stock exchange with a special investment fund. Sky News reported this based on insiders. The IPO of the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), an empty stock market shell with which money is raised to take over a company and thus give it a stock exchange listing, may be announced in the first quarter.
According to Sky, Virgin Group is working with bankers on detailed plans for the first listing of a SPAC on a European stock exchange. The fund will raise approximately 200 million euros, but the final details are yet to be determined.
The news could be considered a slap in the face for the London market as the Virgin group is based in the United Kingdom, and UK regulators have reformed listing rules to make it easier for SPACs to list in London. The Amsterdam stock exchange was also very popular with SPACs in 2021 and experienced a record number of IPOs.
Billionaire Richard Branson is a prolific user of SPACs and has floated both his space tourism company Virgin Galactic and commercial satellite company Virgin Orbit on the New York Stock Exchange through takeovers by these empty stock shells.
Virgin Group also previously launched two of its own United States SPACs and is using them to merge with 23andMe, a private genetics research company, and Grove Collaborative, a manufacturer of sustainable consumer products. Bankers expect Virgin to launch even more SPACs in the United States.
Reporting by ANP.