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ABN AMRO Bank N : Book-building begins for Dutch 'SPAC' ESG Core Investments - banks

02/10/2021 | 11:38am

AMSTERDAM, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Book-building has begun for a new investment vehicle looking to raise up to 250 million euros ($300 million) in an initial share offering to buy a European company focused on sustainable development, a syndicate of banks said on Wednesday.

ESG Core Investments NV, a Dutch shell company known as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), plans to list on the Amsterdam Euronext stock exchange, according to the syndicate launching the initial public offering (IPO).

It ESG Core has said it will use the money it raises to acquire a company within two years after the IPO.

Syndicate members are Berenberg and ABN Amro, with Kempen & Co as bookrunner. They said they were offering shares at 10 euros each, with a prospectus due out on Thursday and the close of book-building by Friday afternoon, depending on demand.

SPACs, shell companies that raise money in an IPO before later merging with a privately-held company to take the latter public, have become popular as a fast and cheap way for some private companies to achieve a stock market listing. Investors make money if the listing and eventual acquisition is a success.

SPACs raised a total of $79 billion last year, according to Refinitiv data.

ESG Core Investments is a subsidiary of Dutch family-owned investment firm Infestos. The company it aims to buy will be focused on ESG - environmental, social and governance - "in the core of its business", Berenberg said.

It will preferably be headquartered in north-western Europe and enjoy a strong competitive position within its industry, ideally based on a unique technology, Berenberg added.

Berenberg said the cash raised would be held in escrow and returned to investors if ESG Core was unable to successfully acquire a target company within the two-year timeframe.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Pravin Char)

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