Ex-Credit Suisse CEO Thiam Raises $300 Million for Upsized SPAC

Former Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam raised $300 million for his blank-check company after boosting the size of the deal.

Thiam’s Freedom Acquisition I Corp. sold 30 million units at $10 apiece in its U.S. initial public offering, it said in a statement Friday. The special purpose acquisition company, which is targeting deals in the financial services industry, was earlier targeting to raise $250 million.

The strong demand shows how industry veterans can trade on their strong name recognition to raise cash at a time when SPACs are booming like never before. Freedom Acquisition’s units, which represent one Class A ordinary share and one-fourth of a redeemable warrant, will start trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the “FACT.U” ticker.

Thiam is executive chairman of the SPAC, which is backed by Pacific Investment Management Co. It will be run by one of his key lieutenants, ex-investment banker Adam Gishen, who was Credit Suisse’s head of investor relations and communications during Thiam’s tenure. Abhishek Bhatia, who was previously a senior executive at Asian insurer FWD Group Ltd., is also one of the SPAC’s founders.

The blank-check company will hunt for technology-enabled businesses in the financial services industry that show growth and the potential to scale, it said in previous filings. JPMorgan Chase & Co. led the offering, which was also arranged by Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley. Academy Securities Inc., Drexel Hamilton LLC, Loop Capital Markets LLC, R. Seelaus & Co. and Siebert Williams Shank & Co. acted as co-managers of the deal.

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