Dubai Investment Firm FIM Partners Considers Raising SPAC

FIM Partners, the frontier and emerging markets asset manager backed by EFG Hermes, is considering listing a special purpose acquisition company in the U.S., people familiar with the matter said.

The Dubai-based investment firm could seek about $250 million for the blank-check company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is advising on the potential deal, they said.

FIM Partners hasn’t set a timeline for any listing, and it could decide to wait before proceeding with a deal given the turmoil in the SPAC market, the people said.

Blank-check company listings in the U.S. have slowed to a trickle in recent weeks after raising $181 billion in the last five quarters, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Even as overall activity slows, the SPAC market has become more international, with firms from Asia to Europe seeking to raise funds for dealmaking.

FIM Partners is led by Chief Executive Officer Hedi Ben Mlouka, a former Merrill Lynch banker who previously ran Duet Group’s frontier markets investing arm. The firm has offices in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the U.K., according to its website. EFG Hermes agreed to buy a stake in FIM Partners in 2017.

Discussions are ongoing, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. A representative for FIM Partners didn’t have any immediate comment. A spokesperson for JPMorgan declined to comment.

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