Wilbur Ross adds to the SPAC craze

Maybe the real question is, who isn’t raising a blank check company?

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Donald Trump, Wilbur Ross, is backing a blank check company that is seeking to raise some $300 million. While Ross will be CEO, former Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow will serve as director.

Dubbed Ross Acquisition II, the special purpose acquisition company is seeking to acquire a company that does most of its business in North America, Europe, or Asia. 

While the SPAC is open to investing in all sectors, it did pinpoint a handful of areas where it’s hoping to begin:

  • Automotive: Electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles
  • Energy: Storage, renewables and energy efficiency
  • Manufacturing: Automation/robotics, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, 3D printing and smart factory
  • Materials: Chemicals, advanced materials and sustainable materials
  • Semiconductor
  • Transportation: Data analytics, digital trade and alternative fuels
  • Space: Remote sensing and space traffic management

The SPAC’s backers add to a list of former politicians and officials who have gotten into the field, including former House Speaker Paul Ryan and former director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn.

This isn’t Ross’ first SPAC. Before his time in Trump’s cabinet, Ross founded distressed private equity shop WL Ross & Co. His previous SPAC, WL Ross Holding, merged in 2016 with Nexeo Solutions, a chemicals and plastics company.

ANOTHER STOCK TRADING APP RAISES: The GameStop saga appears to have led to a surge in interest around stock trading apps, with Robinhood leading the pack. Now as Robinhood raises some $3.4 billion over the course of a week to match collateral demands from its clearinghouse, another stock-trading app is raising a mega round. Stash is set to announce a $125 million round of funding that will value it around $1.4 billion, per CNBC. Eldridge led the round and was joined by investors including T. Rowe Price.

A NEW OUTLOOK FOR TECH: It’s a wild time for technology. Join our roster of speakers alongside my colleague Aaron Pressman and me on February 11 to discuss the new age

The first session on this New Era for Product Development will begin at 1 p.m. ET with speakers such as Mike Maresca (Global Chief Technology Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance), Stephen Ward (Chief Information Security Officer, The Home Depot), and Haiyan Zhang (Chief of Staff, Xbox, Microsoft).

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Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: [email protected]

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