Billionaire investor Bill Ackman hopes to close his mega SPAC deal within weeks – and called his target an ‘iconic’ business

bill ackman
Bill Ackman.

  • Bill Ackman is hoping to close his massive SPAC deal in the next few weeks.
  • The investor trumpeted his chosen target as an “iconic, phenomenal” business.
  • Ackman’s PSTH vehicle has been working to buy a piece of it for six months.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bill Ackman hopes to close his mammoth blank-check deal in a matter of weeks, he revealed at The Wall Street Journal’s “The Future of Everything Festival” on Wednesday.

The billionaire investor said his team has identified an “iconic, phenomenal, great business with a great management team that meets all of our criteria.” They have been working since early November to buy a piece of it, he added.

The hedge fund manager listed Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, a special-purpose acquisition company or SPAC, on the stock market last summer. Its goal is to spend about $5 billion for a minority stake in a private business and take it public.

The nature of its chosen target, the complexity of the transaction, and various other issues have delayed the process, the Pershing Square Capital Management boss said. However, he believes the company in question is so attractive and interesting that it will be “worth the energy and the effort.”

Ackman reiterated that PSTH’s goal is to buy a “super-high quality, durable, growth business.” He paraphrased a famous quote by his mentor Warren Buffett to make his point.

“What we’re looking for is a business that you can own for the next decade,” Ackman said. “The stock market could shut and you would have enormous confidence the business would be worth multiples of the price you pay today.”

Ackman now believes he’s close to securing a stake in that kind of company, but cautioned the deal could still collapse. “We’re either gonna get a transaction done in the next relative short term – weeks – or we’ll be onto the next one,” he said.

The Pershing Square chief made other notable comments at the virtual festival. His hedge fund has sold its Starbucks stake and bought about 6% of Domino’s Pizza, he revealed.

Ackman also cautioned that the recent spike in inflation might not be temporary, and predicted the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Moreover, he described cryptocurrencies as a “brilliant technology” but said he wasn’t comfortable owning a meaningful amount of them.

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Stripe hit a $95 billion valuation, leapfrogging SpaceX, Instacart, and Didi Chuxing on the leaderboard of tech giants

Stripe Co-founder and CEO Patrick Collison
Stripe Co-founder and CEO Patrick Collison.

  • Stripe has raised a new $600 million funding round at a valuation of $95 billion, it said Sunday.
  • The payments firm is now more valuable than SpaceX, Instacart, and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing.
  • Worldwide, Stripe trails TikTok parent ByteDance and Jack Ma’s fintech Ant Group.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Payments company Stripe on Sunday said a new funding round had valued it at $95 billion, leapfrogging it above Elon Musk’s SpaceX and delivery app Instacart in valuation terms.

Stripe raised $600 million in its latest round of funding from investors including Allianz X, Sequoia Capital, and Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), the company said in a statement.

The online payments processor was previously valued at $36 million, and has now tripled its worth in less than a year.

The new fundraising makes Stripe the most valuable private company in Silicon Valley, overtaking SpaceX’s last valuation of $74 billion, from February, and Instacart’s $39 billion valuation, from March.

On a global scale, Stripe trails ByteDance, the Chinese parent of TikTok, which was last valued at $180 billion in December.

It is also behind Ant Group, Jack Ma’s fintech company, which was about to go public in December with an anticipated valuation of around $300 billion, but was stopped by Chinese officials.

The latest fundraise saw Stripe’s valuation pass that of Didi Chuxing, the private Chinese ride-hailing giant, which is valued at $62 billion.

Stripe, founded by brothers Patrick and John Collison, has also surpassed the $80 billion that Facebook was valued at before it went public in 2012, as well as Uber’s valuation of $72 billion in 2018, before its 2019 IPO.

Stripe’s customers include Zoom, Salesforce, Lyft, Deliveroo, and Amazon.

The latest funding would not only allow the company to expand in Europe, but also hire 1,000 more people in its Dublin office over the next five years, and support launches in Brazil, Indonesia, and India later this year, the Financial Times reported Sunday.

Read more: Leaked email: Shannon Brayton is joining Stripe as global head of communications

Dhivya Suryadevara, Stripe’s chief financial officer, told Insider’s Matt Weinburger on Sunday that she’d been “struck by how capital efficient the business is” since joining the company, adding that the new funds will go into growth and expansion in Europe.

Stripe has been boosted by the rise of online shopping during the pandemic, such as for delivery services like Deliveroo, but Suryadevara said the shift had already begun before the pandemic hit.

“It’s a long-term trend that’s been accelerated in the last year, but it’s early days for e-commerce,” she said.

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