UPDATE 2-Mustier and Arnault-backed Pegasus launches Amsterdam SPAC listing | Reuters

France’s richest man Bernard Arnault and former Unicredit head Jean Pierre Mustier launched the 500 million euro ($605.40 million) listing of their special purpose acquisition (SPAC) in Amsterdam on Monday, the bookrunners on the deal said.

Pegasus Acquisition Company Europe B.V. aims to target opportunities in the financial services sector and joins a wave of similar listings in Europe and the United States.

A SPAC is a shell company that raises money in an initial public offering (IPO) to merge with a privately held company, that then becomes publicly traded as a result.

Pegasus is backed by institutional sponsors Tikehau Capital and Financière Agache -- Arnault’s investment vehicle -- and by individual sponsors Diego De Giorgi and Mustier, according to a message from the bookrunners to investors seen by Reuters.

An additional 100 million euros will be unconditionally provided by Tikehau and Financière Agache as a forward purchase agreement for any acquisition.

Citi and JPMorgan are the bookrunners on this deal.

There have been 10 SPAC listings in Europe in 2020 and 2021, with a total value of about $1.3 billion, compared with the United States where 522 such listings have attracted more than $300 billion, Refinitiv data to the end of March shows.

The pace of SPAC listings in the United States has slowed in recent weeks as IPO markets have turned more cautious. Bankers in Europe say demand for SPACs may collapse before the European pipeline even gets going.

The Pegasus deal is expected to complete later this week and begin trading on Euronext Amsterdam on Thursday.

The four sponsors have also committed to invest an aggregate amount of 55 million euros in IPO units. $1 = 0.8259 euros Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Karin Strohecker and Edmund Blair

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