AMSTERDAM, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Book-building has begun for a
new investment vehicle looking to raise up to 250 million euros
($300 million) in an initial share offering to buy a European
company focused on sustainable development, a syndicate of banks
said on Wednesday.
ESG Core Investments NV, a Dutch shell company known as a
special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), plans to list on the
Amsterdam Euronext stock exchange, according to the syndicate
launching the initial public offering (IPO).
It ESG Core has said it will use the money it raises to
acquire a company within two years after the IPO.
Syndicate members are Berenberg and ABN Amro, with Kempen &
Co as bookrunner. They said they were offering shares at 10
euros each, with a prospectus due out on Thursday and the close
of book-building by Friday afternoon, depending on demand.
SPACs, shell companies that raise money in an IPO before
later merging with a privately-held company to take the latter
public, have become popular as a fast and cheap way for some
private companies to achieve a stock market listing. Investors
make money if the listing and eventual acquisition is a success.
SPACs raised a total of $79 billion last year, according to
ESG Core Investments is a subsidiary of Dutch family-owned
investment firm Infestos. The company it aims to buy will be
focused on ESG - environmental, social and governance - "in the
core of its business", Berenberg said.
It will preferably be headquartered in north-western Europe
and enjoy a strong competitive position within its industry,
ideally based on a unique technology, Berenberg added.
Berenberg said the cash raised would be held in escrow and
returned to investors if ESG Core was unable to successfully
acquire a target company within the two-year timeframe.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Pravin Char)