Fast-trading, social-media-obsessed investors have driven the special-purpose acquisition company craze. One of the biggest SPAC creators is a staid insurance executive who wants nothing to do with them.
Billionaire Bill Foley, owner of the Vegas Golden Knights team in the National Hockey League, has bypassed unproven electric-car makers and speculative space companies and instead focused on solid, sustainable businesses.
“Bill Foley is going to make money,” said Evan Ratner, a SPAC portfolio manager at Easterly Alternatives. “He’s buying a business where he’s going to own it for a long time.”
Despite the speculative frenzy all around him, Mr. Foley, 76 years old, is sticking to his old strategy of buying businesses that are undervalued based on their financials. His record building Fidelity National Financial Inc. into a title-insurance behemoth is allowing him to raise cash and do some of the biggest SPAC mergers ever.
“I’ve been a value investor my whole life,” said Mr. Foley, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point whose companies share names with historic battles such as Trasimene, Trebia and Austerlitz. “I’m a big fan of boring companies.”
SPACs in the U.S. have raised approximately $87.9 billion so far in 2021, already exceeding the total issuance in all of last year.
SPACs raise capital in an initial public offering and use the cash to merge with a private company and take it public, usually within two years.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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