Ex-Barclays Banker Azar Seeks $250 Million to Join SPAC Rush

(Bloomberg) — Makram Azar, formerly a senior Barclays Plc banker, is setting up a blank-check company with dealmaker Scott Freidheim to pursue deals in the telecommunication, media and technology sectors.

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Buildings in the Manhattan skyline seen from the Williamsburg neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. U.S. stocks fell to a two-week low as megacap tech shares came under pressure for a second day, but came off their lows as the holiday weekend approached.

Golden Falcon Acquisition Corp. filed Tuesday to raise $250 million through an initial public offering. The special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, will target companies headquartered in Europe, Israel, the Middle East or North America, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Azar is a former chairman of banking for EMEA at Barclays and is the current chief executive officer of Full Circle Capital Ltd., the private investment and advisory group that he founded. Freidheim is the former head of Europe at Investcorp Holdings BSC, the Middle East-focused alternative investment firm. The two previously worked together at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. before its collapse.

Xavier Rolet, ex-CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group Plc and another Lehman Brothers alumnus, is serving as a director of Golden Falcon.

High-profile business figures have increasingly turned to SPACs as a way to pursue dealmaking. SPACs have raised more than $70 billion in IPOs this year, eclipsing previous records, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While almost all of that money has been chasing takeovers in the U.S., there are a growing number of SPACs looking for opportunities in Europe.

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French billionaire Xavier Niel and two partners are seeking to raise as much as 300 million euros ($362 million) via a vehicle to be listed on the Paris stock exchange. Klaus Kleinfeld, the former CEO of Arconic Corp., is planning a blank-check company that could raise more than $300 million, people familiar with the matter have said.

Golden Falcon’s listing is being managed by EarlyBirdCapital Inc., UBS Group AG and Moelis & Co.

For More: Niel, Pigasse Seek as Much as $360 Million for Consumer SPAC

(Updates with details on Azar, Freidheim and Rolet throughout)

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