Italian Fintech Tycoon Pignataro Said to Weigh Blank-Check Firm

Andrea Pignataro, the Italian tycoon behind trading software and financial-data provider ION, is considering raising capital for dealmaking through a blank-check firm, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Pignataro, a former Salomon Brothers bond trader, has been speaking to advisers about a U.S. initial public offering of a special purpose acquisition company, according to the people. The potential SPAC would hunt for investments in industries including the European technology sector, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. Pignataro and a representative for ION didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

The U.S. SPAC market reached an all-time high this year, with companies led by executives across industries and geographies raising more than $65 billion to hunt takeover targets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Merging with a SPAC enables a closely-held company to go public without the challenges of the traditional IPO process.

Pignataro’s current firm, ION, offers a portfolio of technology platforms used for trading equities, fixed income, derivatives and currencies. It also owns several financial news and data providers including Acuris and Dealogic Ltd. The businessman has separately attracted attention for his involvement in a real estate development on Canouan, the sunny Caribbean resort island that’s part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

ION competes with Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, in providing financial news, information and technology.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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