Finance veteran Truell to restart European SPAC market with Amsterdam listing

By Abhinav Ramnarayan and Carolyn Cohn

LONDON (Reuters) -British finance veteran Edi Truell is planning to list a blank cheque vehicle in Amsterdam in what would be the first special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to surface in Europe since the summer.

Disruptive Capital Acquisition Company would look to raise up to 125 million pounds ($170 million) from its listing and would target a financial services company in Western or Northern Europe, according to a message to investors seen by Reuters.

Truell is a director of private equity firm Disruptive Capital and also the co-founder of The Pension SuperFund, which was set up to take on the risk of beleaguered UK company pension schemes.

The market for SPACs has diminished dramatically in recent months due to regulatory scrutiny and increased investor scepticism around a racy structure that allows companies a backdoor entry to a stock market listing.

SPACs, also called blank cheque vehicles, are listed on a stock market backed by an entrepreneur or businessperson with a view to acquiring a private company in the future.

Truell, who was also previously CEO of Pension Insurance Corporation, said the SPAC was targeting financial services in "asset-heavy, legacy businesses", such as insurance or reinsurance, which could be scaled up with the help of new technology.

"We want boring businesses that we know and love."

The team behind the SPAC also includes Kari Stadigh, vice chair of Nokia and former group CEO of Finnish insurer Sampo.

JP Morgan and Cantor are global coordinators.

In Europe, Amsterdam has been the listing venue of choice for such blank check vehicles, with French billionaire Bernard Arnault and British oil veteran Tony Hayward both choosing the Dutch bourse for their SPACs.

Truell said the listing environment for SPACs was more attractive in Amsterdam than London when he was putting the vehicle together.

British authorities have tried to make London a more attractive venue for SPACs by bringing its rules more in line with New York, which has seen an unprecedented boom of SPAC listings in 2020 and 2021. But so far there have been no SPAC listings in London this year.

($1 = 0.7342 pounds)

(Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan and Carolyn Cohn;Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)