Far Point Acquisition CEO Explains SPAC And Recent Dealmaking

By: Jayson Derrick
Jayson Derrick
Jayson lives in Montreal with his wife and daughter, loves watching hockey, and is on a lifelong quest to perfect the… read more.
on Jan 19, 2020
  • Far Point Acquisition is a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).
  • The SPAC is backed by hedge fund titan Dan Loeb.
  • Far Point recently acquired a Swiss payment firm called Global Blue.
  • Investors could expect to see more growth among SPAC deals.

Far Point Acquisition said Thursday it will acquire Swiss payments company Global Blue in a $2.6 billion deal, including debt. Following the acquisition announcement, Far Point CEO Tom Farley was interviewed on “Bloomberg Markets” to better explain the deal and its advantages.

What Is Far Point And Global Blue

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Far Point Acquisition is a “Special Purpose Acquisition Company” (SPAC) whose sole purpose is to oversee a merger, share exchange, or similar combination with one or more businesses in the financial technology (fintech) space. The company is led by CEO Thomas Farley, who was a former New York Stock Exchange President. Far Point also is backed by one of the biggest hedge fund names on Wall Street as Third Point’s Dan Loeb is the managing director.

Global Blue has a strong presence across Europe and processes transactions on behalf of international shoppers. The company’s network allows tourists to buy goods in airports and other locations tax-free. As part of the Far Point acquisition, Global Blue will see its stock trade on the U.S. market — as is the norm in deals involving a SPAC.

Global Blue’s ‘Sweet Spot’ In Fintech

Global Blue gains a much easier path towards becoming a public company and will raise additional capital to further fund growth or pursue tuck-in acquisitions, Farly explained on Bloomberg. The Swiss company also stands to benefit from what Farley says is a “dream team” of fintech experts and fund managers.

At the center of the “dream team” is hedge fund titan Dan Loeb. The “activist investor” brings more than three decades of experience as “one of the smartest pickers in all of Wall Street.” Other investors include Chinese tycoon Jack Ma and private equity behemoth Silver Lake.

The combined wealth of experience should be able to leverage Global Blue’s business to better monetize consumer data, improve consumer marketing, expand into cross border payments, among others.

“This business is right in a sweet spot for us, and for a fintech SPAC like us,” the CEO said.

Other Examples Of SPACs

Many new investors are unfamiliar with SPACs but there has been a recent surge in activity, Farley explained. Other examples of notable SPACs include ex- Honeywell CEO David Cote which is backed by a Goldman Sachs affiliate.

Hollywood executive Jeff Sagansky created a SPAC called Diamond Eagle and recently acquired sports-betting company DraftKings in a $3.3 billion deal.

“I think you are going to see more, not fewer SPACs — because they work,” Farley said. 

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