Boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners has agreed to go public by combining with a blank-check company sponsored by finance entrepreneur Betsy Cohen.
FinTech Acquisition Corp. IV, Cohen’s special purpose acquisition vehicle, will fund the purchase with its $230 million of cash and raise another $125 million through a private placement, according to a statement. The deal values the combined group at about $975 million.
“With the increasing complexity of today’s business environment, we believe demand for trusted independent advice is poised for years of significant growth,” Cohen said in the statement, which confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report.
Cohen’s SPAC emerged as the likely acquirer soon after Bloomberg reported in November that Perella Weinberg was in talks with blank-check suitors.
Investors including Fidelity Management & Research Co., Wellington Management and Korea Investment & Securities Co. have agreed to buy stock in a private placement to support the deal. Net proceeds from the transaction will first go toward repaying debt, while as much as $110 million will be used to redeem a portion of ownership interests tendered by some Perella Weinberg holders, according to the statement.
Perella Weinberg expects to have a debt-free balance sheet at the closing of the transaction, with access to additional liquidity under an undrawn revolving credit facility, it said in the statement. Working partners and employees of the advisory firm are expected to hold about 50% of the company after the deal.
The market debut of Perella Weinberg 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.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Financial Technology Partners served as financial advisers to FinTech Acquisition Corp. IV, while Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc. served as buy side adviser. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., JMP Group LLC and Wells Fargo & Co. acted as capital markets advisers to the SPAC, while Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan were private placement agents.