Temasek-backed Tikehau Capital joins race for Singapore's first Spac: Sources

Singapore started allowing blank-cheque companies to list on Sept 3. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Investment manager Tikehau Capital is planning to raise as much as $300 million by listing a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) in Singapore, according to sources familiar with the matter, joining firms jostling to take advantage of the country's new listing framework.

The European alternative asset manager is in the advanced stages of its preparations and is in the running to be among the first in Singapore to file for an initial public offering (IPO) of a blank-cheque firm, the sources said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Tikehau is seeking to raise between $250 million and $300 million in the IPO, the people said.

Tikehau has not identified a specific target sector for its prospective Spac firm, one of the sources said.

Deliberations are ongoing and the firm could decide not to proceed with a Spac listing, the source said. A representative for Tikehau declined to comment.

Tikehau would join Turmeric Capital, Novo Tellus Capital Partners and Temasek's Vertex Holdings in seeking to be among the front runners to set up a Spac in the city-state. Singapore started allowing blank-cheque companies to list on Sept 3, becoming the first Asian financial hub to host the structures. The China Securities Regulatory Commission is studying the possibility of share listings through Spacs, the regulator's chairman said in a speech published on Monday (Sept 6).

The new Spac regulations "are very balanced and create a commercially viable framework that also provides for adequate guard rails to protect investors," said Mr Neil Parekh, Tikehau's head of Asia, Australia and New Zealand, in an interview last week following the launch of the framework.

There are several high-growth firms across Asia-Pacific "that have mature management teams that are ready for public markets", especially in property technology, health care, consumer and fintech, Mr Parekh said.

The firm, which has €30.9 billion (S$49.2 billion) in assets under management, has experience launching Spacs. Tikehau worked with former UniCredit chief executive Jean Pierre Mustier and billionaire Bernard Arnault to list Pegasus Acquisition Company Europe, one of the region's biggest blank-cheque companies, in Amsterdam.

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