Germany's Rocket Internet aims for SPAC in New York, sources say

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German tech investment company Rocket Internet plans to list a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in New York to tap into investor interest in new offerings, two people close to the matter said.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of of Rocket Internet, a German venture capital group is pictured in this September 24, 2014 illustration photo. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Rocket, led by tech entrepreneur Oliver Samwer, is preparing to list SPAC shares worth 200 million to 300 million euros ($242 million to $363 million) in a deal organised by investment bank Citi, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Rocket and Citi were not immediately available for comment.

SPACs, or blank-cheque firms, typically raise money in an IPO to pursue an acquisition without telling their investors which company they will buy. The deal then takes the private company public.

The United States has seen a boom in SPCA listings, while there have been relatively in Europe. So far, stand-outs in Europe include telecom entrepreneur Xavier Neil’s 2MX Organic in Paris, and ESG Core Investments earlier this month announced plans to list in Amsterdam.

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

Oliver Samwer’s Rocket Internet is pursuing a similar strategy, as he aims for the deeper U.S. market in which investors are more used to SPACs.

In January, the amount raised by SPACs globally soared 20 times to $24 billion from a year earlier, Refinitiv data showed.

Rocket Internet in September announced plans to delist its shares, saying it had sufficient access to capital outside the stock exchange and could better pursue a long-term approach to investing.

Investors had long said Rocket Internet would be better off going private again as it had successfully listed all the major firms it helped to found, including Delivery Hero, HelloFresh and Home.

($1 = 0.8267 euros)

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