• The SPAC now aims to go public with 200 million units priced at $20 each. The new target should set a fresh record for SPAC IPO proceeds.
  • Ackman hasn't yet revealed which company he aims to buy following the offering, but his firm has revealed interest in"high-quality, venture-backed businesses" otherwise deemed "mature unicorns."
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Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, the blank-check acquisition company led by hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, raised its initial public offering target to $4 billion from $3 billion, according to a Monday regulatory filing .

The special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, plans to go public with 200 million units at $2o each. Ackman previously planned to sell 150 million units at the same price. If the target is met, Pershing Square will set a new record for SPAC IPOs.

Such blank-check companies use funds raised from IPOs and other sources to acquire other companies. Pershing Square previously backed a $1.44 billion SPAC acquisition of Burger King in 2012. The restaurant chain returned to public markets soon after and later merged with Tim Hortons.

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The hedge fund manager hasn't yet revealed which company he will target, only saying in the filing that Pershing Square is interested in "high-quality, venture-backed businesses" deemed "mature unicorns." Ackman also plans to contribute between $1 billion and $3 billion to the SPAC through his fund.

Ackman's SPAC arrives as the companies enjoy surging popularity. The first half of 2020 saw 39 SPAC IPOs emerge and collectively raise $12.3 billion, according to SPACInsider, a website that tracks data on the offerings. The year-to-date fundraising has nearly eclipsed the total seen in all of 2019, when 58 SPAC IPOs brought in $13.6 billion.

Some of the past year's most exciting acquisitions involved SPACs. Sports betting platform DraftKings went public in December 2019 after completing a triple merger with Diamond Eagle Acquisition and SBTech. Electric truck maker Nikola Corp. made its trading debut in early March through a reverse SPAC merger. Virgin Galactic potentially sparked the trend, taking on a $1.5 billion valuation in July 2019 and completing its merger in October.

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