Exclusive: Veteran investor Foley plans to raise $1.5 billion through two SPACs

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By David French

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Veteran investor Bill Foley plans to raise two new blank-check acquisition vehicles which will be named after a Napoleonic battle and seek around $1.5 billion in total from their initial public offerings (IPOs), a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Public filings related to Austerlitz Acquisition Corp I and Austerlitz Acquisition Corp II – both so-called special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) – could be published as soon as this week, the source said.

The first Austerlitz vehicle will aim to raise around $500 million from investors, with the second entity targeting around $1 billion, the source added.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity as the information is private. A representative for Foley declined to comment.

Foley has been one of the most prominent dealmakers in the recent Wall Street frenzy around SPACs. His most recent two, Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp and Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp II, in recent months have agreed mergers with U.S. benefits services provider Alight Solutions and payments processor Paysafe Group Holdings Ltd, respectively.

SPACs raise funds in an IPO to acquire a private company, which then becomes public as a result of the merger.

They have become increasingly popular, with prominent investors, former sports stars and politicians among those who have launched such vehicles.

As well as investments in a number of financial companies, including insurer Fidelity National Financial (NYSE:) and mortgage data firm Black Knight (NYSE:) Inc, Foley is the owner of the Las Vegas Golden Knights ice hockey team.

The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was regarded as one of Napoleon’s greatest military triumphs, where French forces defeated larger armies belonging to Russia and Austria in December 1805.

The reference to historical battles follows on from Foley’s last two SPACs, which were named after a conflict at Lake Trasimene involving the Carthaginians and the Romans in the second-century BC.

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