Dec 17 (Reuters) - Shares in Belgian state-controlled
telecoms firm Proximus rose on Friday after its
subsidiary TeleSign agreed to merge with a New York blank-cheque
company in a deal that would value the unit at $1.3 billion.
U.S.-listed North Atlantic Acquisition Corporation (NAAC)
, chaired by Diageo's former Europe chief Andrew Morgan,
said on Thursday it would buy a minority stake in TeleSign for a
total transaction size of $487 million.
NAAC said it would raise another $107.5 million to complete
Proximus shares were up 4% to 17.66 euros at 1122 GMT.
"By facilitating TeleSign's intended introduction to public
equity markets we can accelerate its next phase of growth,
addressing the underserved digital identity and engagement
space," NAAC CEO Gary Quin said in a statement.
California-based TeleSign helps businesses to secure their
digital identities, prevent fraud and establish secure
Blank-cheque or special purposes acquisition companies
(SPACs), are cash vehicles that are listed on stock markets and
backed by well-known entrepreneurs that are then used to buy a
private company, thus providing an alternate route to a listing
than an initial public offering.
A record $130 billion plus of SPACs have listed globally
this year, most in New York, many of which are now on the hunt
for targets; a lucrative opportunity for private companies
looking for a relatively easy route to a public listing.
Proximus said it was not selling any of its shares and would
own 66.5% of TeleSign upon completion of the transaction.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter
of next year.
TeleSign said it expected to generate $391 million of
revenues in 2021, with an expected increase to approximately
$1.1 billion in 2026.
(Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian
Editing by Abhinav Ramnarayan and Mark Potter)