Exclusive: Germany's HelloFresh founder Richter to launch U.S. SPAC - sources

BERLIN (Reuters) - Dominik Richter, the founder and chief executive of German meal kit delivery firm HelloFresh, is planning to list a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in New York to tap into investor interest in new offerings, three people close to the matter said.

The blank-cheque firm, which he is setting up with investor Roman Kirsch, is planning to sell shares worth $200-$500 million, the sources said, adding that an official filing could take place in the coming days with a listing as early as March.

Tech entrepreneur Jan Beckers will join the SPAC’s board, they said.

Richter, Kirsch and Beckers declined to comment.

SPACs typically raise money in an initial public offering (IPO) to pursue an acquisition without telling their investors which company they will buy.

The deal then takes the private company public.

Richter’s SPAC will target buying a technology company, likely a European one, the sources said.

It will have no connection to HelloFresh, the sources said.

The United States has seen a boom in SPAC listings, while there have been relatively few in Europe. Stand-outs in Europe include telecom entrepreneur Xavier Neil’s 2MX Organic in Paris.

This week, plans were announced of former UniCredit boss Jean-Pierre Mustier teaming up with France’s richest man Bernard Arnault to launch a SPAC aimed at European financial deals.

Some of SPACs backed by entrepreneurs, including former Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam or Egyptian billionaire Nassef Onsi Sawiris, have chosen to seek a U.S. listing.

German tech investment company Rocket Internet also announced plans to list a SPAC in New York.

Writing by Arno Schuetze; editing by Jason Neely