Four Palihapitiya-backed SPACs raise $880 million in upsized public offerings

FILE PHOTO: Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of Social Capital, speaks during the 2018 Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Four blank-check companies, backed by venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya, raised a total of $880 million in their upsized U.S. initial public offerings (IPOs) on Wednesday.

Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp I, II, III and IV, each sold 22 million Class A ordinary shares priced at $10 per share.

The special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) had initially aimed to raise a total of $800 million, offerings with a focus on acquiring biotechnology firms.

The SPACs said earlier this month that they will give retail investors an opportunity to buy shares in their IPOs via Social Finance Inc’s online brokerage platform.

Palihapitiya has been a prolific backer of blank-check firms, merging them with a range of companies from space tourism firm Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc to home-selling platform Opendoor Technologies Inc.

A blank-check company, also known as SPAC, uses capital raised through an IPO to buy a private company, usually within two years. The deal then takes the private company public.

The Social Capital Suvretta SPACs will start trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur