In a sign of the times, GCM Grosvenor will become a public company through a SPAC.
The Chicago-based alternative investments firm is planning to go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company in a deal valued at $2 billion. The 50-year-old firm has $57 billion in assets in private equity, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and absolute return investments.
“We have long valued having external shareholders and we wanted to preserve the accountability and focus that comes with that,” Michael Sacks, GCM Grosvenor’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
GCM Grosvenor will combine with CF Finance Special Acquisition Corp, a SPAC backed by Cantor Fitzgerald, according to an announcement from both companies on Monday. After the company goes public, Sacks will continue to lead GCM Grosvenor, which is owned by management and Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm. Hellman & Friedman, which has owned a minority stake of the Chicago asset manager since 2007, will sell its equity as part of the deal.
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The deal comes amid a flurry of activity in the SPAC market, fueled by hedge funds backing special-purpose acquisition companies. Last month, Pershing Square, founded by Bill Ackman, backed a $4 billion SPAC IPO, the largest on record. SPACs are called blank check companies as they raise money from investors that can then be used by the SPAC to take any private company public.
Once the deal is complete, GCM Grosvenor will own 70 percent of the firm, slightly higher than what the management team has owned historically.