Bridgetown Holdings Ltd., the U.S.-listed blank-check company backed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Richard Li, is considering a merger with financial technology firm Hyphen Group, according to people familiar with the matter.
A transaction could value the combined company at several hundred million dollars, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Li is already among the Hong Kong-based Hyphen’s investors.
A deal could include a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, anchored by institutional investors, the people said.
Talks are ongoing and no final decisions have been made, the people said. Representatives for Bridgetown and Hyphen declined to comment.
Once a hot sector for both startups and Wall Street banks, enthusiasm for special purpose acquisition companies has fizzled. A few deals are still being inked, such as automaker Lotus Technology, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., agreeing to a SPAC merger on January 31 valuing the combined entity at about $5.4 billion.
Bridgetown raised $595 million in a U.S. initial public offering in 2020. Its sponsor, Bridgetown LLC, is a collaboration between the PayPal Holdings Inc. founder’s Thiel Capital and Li’s investment flagship Pacific Century Group. The SPAC had previously held talks with other targets including digital telecom services provider Circles.Life and Indonesia’s Traveloka, Bloomberg News has reported.
Hyphen has been working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to review funding options including a listing via a SPAC or a private fundraising, Bloomberg News has reported. Backers include Pacific Century, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Goldman Sachs, the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. and Experian Plc.
Hyphen, formerly known as CompareAsiaGroup, offers comparison tools for credit cards, personal loans, and other financial products, according to its website.