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Capital Calls One SPAC's numerous overambitions

3 minute read

Bill Ackman, chief executive officer and portfolio manager at Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the SALT conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Richard Brian

NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance in the Covid-19 era.

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DISAPPOINTING ONESELF. Bill Ackman fancied himself a SPAC overachiever. Not only did the hedge fund manager raise a massive $4 billion for his special-purpose acquisition company, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH.N), last summer. He also set an ambitious target timeframe to find a deal: the end of the first quarter this year.

That isn’t going to happen, he told investors in his Pershing Square business on Monday. Shares of the related blank-check company were oddly trading at a huge premium to the vehicle's cash balance earlier this year read more , although no deals had been floated. They’ve since come down closer to their listing price.

Finding an acquisition won’t be easy. Already this year the number of SPACs issued and the cash raised, almost $100 billion according to SPAC Research, have overtaken all of 2020 read more . That means competition for deals. The size of Ackman’s SPAC further narrows his options. Reaching for several superlatives at once is a challenge, even for the most seasoned market maven. (By Lauren Silva Laughlin)

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Edited by Richard Beales and Amanda Gomez

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