Bill Ackman wants $6.5 billion to go unicorn hunting. In regulatory filing on Monday, the billionaire hedge fund manager announced new plans for his “blank-check IPO,” including efforts to raise $3 billion to $6.5 billion — up from $1 billion. Ackman, 54, also revealed plans to use the money to go after “mature unicorns,” which …
Bill Ackman wants $6.5 billion to go unicorn hunting.
In regulatory filing on Monday, the billionaire hedge fund manager announced new plans for his “blank-check IPO,” including efforts to raise $3 billion to $6.5 billion — up from $1 billion. Ackman, 54, also revealed plans to use the money to go after “mature unicorns,” which the document seemed to define as privately held, venture capital-backed, revenue-generating startups valued at more than a billion dollars.
“Over the past decade, numerous high-quality, venture-backed businesses have achieved significant scale, market share, competitive dominance and cash flow — we call these companies ‘mature unicorns,’” the document said.
Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital, said he’s targeting privately held unicorns because their funding options are more likely to be limited than publicly traded companies during the pandemic. The filing notes, for example, that some private equity and venture capital firms may be eager to sell their stakes in good companies in a desperate bid for cash simply because the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on their portfolios. The companies could then be taken public when the smoke clears.
“The recent dislocations in both the stock market and private growth equity markets, combined with a number of high-profile private investment failures and disappointing IPO outcomes, have substantially reduced the amount of private funding available for these companies, while demands for liquidity from their investors have increased,” the filing said.
As The Post previously reported, Ackman originally filed papers on June 11 to officially raise $1 billion through sale of stock in a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. The new plan seeks a minimum of $3 billion through the sale of 150 million shares in the new entity, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, at $20 apiece.
If Ackman’s offering goals are met, he will obliterate the record for money raised in the SPAC market, which currently stands at $1.1 billion raised by Churchill Capital in February.
“We will have the largest amount of committed capital of any blank check company upon the completion of this offering,” the document reads.
On May 28, Ackman, 54, disclosed that he’d dumped his $1 billion stake in Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company of his professed mentor, Warren Buffett.
“He always thought he’d be the next Warren Buffett,” one industry insider told The Post, referring to Ackman. “It looks like he’s really about to try.”