January 22, 2021


LONDON (Reuters) – Former London Stock Exchange boss Xavier Rolet has joined a newly-launched “blank check” company that is hunting for technology deals across Europe under the leadership of ex Barclays banker Makram Azar.

FILE PHOTO: Xavier Rolet in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The special purpose acquisition company, named Golden Falcon Acquisition Corp, will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a fundraising goal of $250 million (187 million pounds), a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed.

So-called blank check companies are shell vehicles that raise cash on the stock market and hunt for a private company to take public.

Rolet, who left the LSE in 2017, will serve as an independent director of the new vehicle, the SEC filing showed.

Lebanese-born Azar – a 53-year old former KKR managing director who spent a decade at Barclays in senior executive roles – will serve as chief executive of Golden Falcon, while former Investcorp Europe CEO Scott Freidheim will become the company’s chairman.

Golden Falcon will focus primarily on companies in Europe providing a wide spectrum of technology expertise.

“While we may pursue an initial business combination with any target business and in any sector or geographical location, we intend to focus our search on companies operating in the technology, media, telecommunications and fintech sectors,” the filing said.

Azar has been eyeing technology investments since he left Barclays in 2019, where he was chairman of banking for EMEA and also leading Barclays Bank PLC in the Middle East and North Africa.

Last year he launched his own private investment and advisory group, Full Circle Capital.

Other directors who joined Golden Falcon’s board include Eutelsat Communications chairman Dominique D’Hinnin and Mikael Breuer-Weil who co-founded investment management boutique Marylebone Partners in 2013.

The special purpose acquisition company is offering up to 28.7 million units – inclusive of a greenshoe option – at $10 apiece. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and half a warrant, exercisable at $11.50.

UBS, Moelis and EarlyBirdCapital Inc are working on the deal.

Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia. Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter

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