Buyout firm Thoma Bravo launches $750 million SPAC in search of tech deal

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Private equity giant Thoma Bravo is marketing a $750 million “blank check” company — and pivoting from its usual business model in order to invest in a fast-growing tech startup, a source close to the situation told The Post.

Chicago-based Thoma Bravo’s usual approach to investing is to acquire controlling stakes in companies through leveraged buyouts instead of taking minority positions. By raising a blank-check company, it can buy a minority stake in a promising tech firm and help it go public, the source said.

Thoma Bravo, which also has offices in San Francisco, is among the biggest in the US. In October, the firm raised $22.8 billion for three funds giving it more than $70 billion of assets under management.

“There are a large number of companies they know well who want to work with them but are not interested in being bought out,” according to a source. “These businesses want to go public but they want to enjoy the upside.”

Blank-check companies — also known as SPACS, or or special-purpose acquisition companies — are essentially pools of cash looking to take companies public by acquiring them. While SPACs have enjoyed a boom this year, few private-equity firms have entered the fray thus far.

Thoma Bravo’s investors have given the firm permission to launch a SPAC, having determined that it is “not cannibalizing the private equity business,” the source said.

The San Francisco and Chicago-based firm is raising the money for the SPAC through Citigroup, the source said. Reuters first reported on the Thoma Bravo SPAC on Thursday. 

SPACs have become one of Wall Street’s most popular investment vehicles in 2020, with 208 SPACs raising more than $70 billion year to date, Reuters reported, citing SPAC Research.

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