* Raises about $435 mln from offering
* Sells 43.5 mln units
June 6 Shares of WL Ross Holding Corp,
a special purpose acquisition company set up by billionaire
Wilbur Ross, rose slightly in their market debut on Friday.
The company raised $435 million after selling 43.5 million
units for $10 per unit. Each unit comprises one share and one
warrant to buy half a share.
The company's units were up about 2 percent at $10.19 in
afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.
This is the third IPO this year of a so-called "blank check"
company, which is set up for an eventual merger or other
Last year, 10 blank check companies raised $1.44 billion,
the highest amount since 2008, according to industry data
website SPAC Analytics.
WL Ross Holding said in its prospectus that it was yet to
initiate "substantive discussions" with potential business
Under SEC regulations, blank-check companies have 18 months
to identify a takeover target, with an extension of up to six
months available to close a deal.
The firms, also known as special purpose acquisition
companies (SPAC), need the consent of 80 percent of their
investors to make an acquisition.
If they fail to complete a deal, SPACs are required to
return the money they've raised to investors, minus fees and
expenses that can range from 8 percent to 15 percent of the
Data from SPAC Analytics show that about 35 percent of the
SPACs set up since 2003 have liquidated without finding a buyout
target, while shares of those that completed a buyout produced
an average annualized return of negative 13.4 percent.
Nonetheless, investors plowed $2.7 billion into SPACs
globally last year, up from $327 million in 2012, according to
Thomson Reuters data.
Ross, 76, made a name for himself as a bankruptcy
specialist, snapping up out-of-favour assets ranging from banks
to textile firms.
He recently stepped down as chief executive of his private
equity firm, WL Ross & Co, which manages around $10 billion in
Talmer Bancorp Inc is the only other company to
have been taken public by Ross this year. Ross also has a large
stake in Diamond S Shipping Group Inc, which dropped its IPO
plans in March, citing lower suggested price.
Ross's stake in WL Ross Holding has been diluted to about 20
percent after the offering, proceeds of which will be used to
Deutsche Bank Securities and BofA Merrill Lynch were the
lead underwriters for the offering, WL Ross said in a statement.
(Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri and Avik Das in Bangalore;
Editing by Kirti Pandey and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)