Martin Franklin Plans $1 Billion-Plus Blank Check IPO

Serial dealmaker Martin E. Franklin is working with advisers to raise a new blank-check company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Franklin, a founder of Jarden Corp., is working with Citigroup Inc. and UBS Group AG on the potential special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private.

Martin Franklin Plans $1 Billion-Plus Blank Check IPO

The vehicle will likely raise at least $1 billion to acquire a consumer company, one of the people said. It will probably list in the U.K., this person said.

Representatives for UBS, Franklin and Citigroup declined to comment.

Franklin’s son, Robbie Franklin, will be a partner in the SPAC, the people said. Robbie Franklin is a partner in his father’s family office, Mariposa Capital, and has been involved in his other investments including Royal Oak Enterprises, a privately-owned charcoal company, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The potential initial public offering would be the latest in the booming blank-check space. Merging with a SPAC has become a relatively stable way for companies to go public during a period of market volatility.

Billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. is exploring raising a SPAC, Bloomberg reported last month.

Franklin has started several blank-check companies, including J2 Acquisition Ltd., which he ran with longtime partners James Lillie and Ian Ashken.

J2 last year agreed to buy APi Group Inc., a provider of commercial life safety solutions and specialty services. In 2015, Nomad Foods Ltd., was formed after another Franklin-led vehicle agreed to buy Igloo Foods Holdings Ltd.

Franklin in 2011 also co-founded the SPAC that eventually became Restaurant Brands International Inc., the parent of Burger King and Tim Hortons.

He also founded Platform Specialty Products Corp., a chemicals company that started as a SPAC acquired by Element Solutions Inc.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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