Former Arconic CEO Kleinfeld Said to Plan SPAC Listing

Klaus Kleinfeld, the former chief executive officer of Arconic, is the latest high-profile business figure planning to raise money for deals through a blank-check company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The German businessman is preparing to list a special purpose acquisition company called Constellation in New York in December, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

The SPAC could raise more than $300 million for deals in the U.S. or Europe, the people said. Kleinfeld is poised to lead Constellation, according to the people. Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley are advising on the listing, the people said. Representatives for Kleinfeld and the banks declined to comment.

Constellation will mark a return to the corporate fore for Kleinfeld, who stepped down as CEO of engineering group Arconic following a tussle with activist investor Elliott Management Corp.’s Paul Singer in 2017. Arconic was a spin off from aluminum group Alcoa, where Kleinfeld had spent almost a decade. Prior to that he was CEO of Siemens AG, a role from which he resigned in 2007 in the wake of a bribery probe into the German conglomerate’s business.

Kleinfeld’s experience has also landed him roles as an adviser to world leaders in the past. He served on U.S. President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council and has advised Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on reform plans and his Neom megacity project.

Magnates across industries have increasingly turned to SPACs as a way to quickly raise capital for dealmaking and have raised more than $60 billion via these vehicles this year, a record, Bloomberg data show. While almost all that money has been chasing takeovers in the U.S., there is a growing number of SPACs looking for opportunities in Europe.

French billionaire Xavier Niel and his partners are seeking to raise as much as 300 million euros ($359 million) for a Paris-listed SPAC to pursue consumer deals. Other well-known business figures entering the SPAC market include Andrea Pignataro, the Italian tycoon behind trading software and financial data provider ION. Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and French entrepreneur Ian Gallienne have also teamed up for a blank-check IPO.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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