SPAC owned by Niel, Pigasse and Zouari soars on its Paris debut

PARIS (Reuters) - Shares in 2MX Organic, an acquisition vehicle belonging to French billionaire Xavier Niel and his partners, opened as much as 30% higher on Wednesday, marking a strong debut for the Paris stock exchange’s biggest IPO this year.

Telecoms magnate Xavier Niel, former Lazard banker Matthieu Pigasse and entrepreneur Moez-Alexandre Zouari said on Monday they had raised 300 million euros ($363 million).

By 1343 GMT 2MX Organic shares were up 8.2% at 10.74 euros, compared to the initial public offering of 10 euros per share.

The SPAC or a special purpose acquisition company, set up to carry out acquisitions within the production and distribution of durable consumer goods sector, is a shell company that uses proceeds from going public to buy other firms that have not yet been identified at the time of the listing.

The three partners, who announced the launch of their SPAC last month, aim at building a leading European player in sustainable consumption by taking advantage of the surge in consumer demand for organic products.

“We want to invent a distribution of tomorrow from scratch, by building a consumer-centred alternative model,” Zouari said at a virtual bell ring marking the company’s stock market debut.

Xavier Niel, best known for founding mobile operator Iliad in France, has already used the format with Matthieu Pigasse to create French media group Mediawan, born out of the country’s first ever SPAC.

“With 2MX Organic, we want to create the Tesla of responsible consumption”, Zouari added.

($1 = 0.8260 euros)

Reporting by Patrick Vignal, Gwenaelle Barzic in Paris ; writing by Juliette Portala in Gdansk; Editing by Tomasz Janowski