Niel joins forces to launch Organic Foods SPAC

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Iliad SA Founder Xavier Niel joins forces with other investors to raise up to $ 360 million, or € 300 million, to launch blank check company to acquire assets focused on consumer durables and respectful of the environment.

The backers of the ad hoc acquisition company, or SPAC, include Matthieu Pigasse, who heads the Paris office of Centerview Partners, and the owner of the supermarket chain Moez-Alexandre Zouari. The new company will be headed by Zouari, with Pigasse and Niel serving on its board of directors.

The new SPAC, known as 2MX Organic, is targeting a valuation of up to two billion euros and will be listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

2MX Organic plans to sell at least 25 million shares at 10 euros each. Only qualified investors will be able to subscribe. Deutsche Bank and Société Générale are acting as associate bookkeepers on the transaction, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg said that Niel and Pigasse hope to take advantage of the growing demand for organic food in Western Europe. According to HSBC, demand for organic products increased by 14% in France alone last year.

This will be Niel et Pigasse’s second SPAC in recent years. In 2016, the duo created Mediawan SA, which focuses on acquiring media assets. This company is managed by Pierre-Antoine Capton.

Zouari, a key investor in frozen food retailer Picard, recently attempted to acquire the organic supermarket group Bio c’Bon. It was outbid by Carrefour SA.

Niel recently won a corporate governance battle to block a € 3.5 billion capital increase at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. Niel’s group was also able to win three seats on the company’s supervisory board, Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg also noted that investors are increasingly looking to PSPCs to raise funds for mergers and acquisitions, with $ 64 billion raised for such vehicles in the United States this year. PSPCs have been less popular in Europe, with just $ 786 million spent on three transactions in 2020.

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