Looking to sell? LF Capital raises $155 million to buy into commercial banking, fintech

Newly formed “blank check” company is ready to buy

Any companies out there in commercial banking or fintech that are looking to sell?

If so, there’s a newly funded company that’s ready to buy.

LF Capital Acquisition Corp., which bills itself as a newly formed “blank check” company, recently launched and raised more than $155 million that it plans to invest in commercial banking or fintech.

Specifically, the company went public, raising $155.25 million in an initial public offering.

In a release, the company said that it was formed for the purpose of "effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses."

The company said that while it may pursue a “business combination” in various businesses or industries, its target is a business in the commercial banking or fintech industries.

The company recently sold 15,525,000 units at a price of $10 per unit, culminating in a capital raise of $155.25 million.

The company is led by Baudouin Prot, who was named chairman of the board in February 2018. Prot previously served as the chairman of BNP Paribas from June 2011 to December 2014. Prot also served as CEO of BNP Paribas from June 2003 to June 2011.

During his time leading BNP Paribas, Prot led an expansion push in the U.S. via the bank’s U.S.-based subsidiary, BancWest, which included a $1.2 billion acquisition of Community First Bankshares, a $1.36 billion acquisition of Commercial Federal Corporation, and a $245 million acquisition of USDB Bancorp.

Also leading the company is Philippe De Backer, who has been a director and the company’s CEO since October 2017.

De Backer is the co-founder and chairman of Clearly, a digital bank. De Backer spent more than 20 years working at Bain & Company, a global consulting firm.

In its prospectus, the company cites the management experience of its principals as a strength of its operation.

“We intend to identify and acquire a business that could benefit from a hands-on owner with extensive operational experience in the financial sector and that presents potential for an attractive risk-adjusted return profile under our stewardship,” the company said in its prospectus.

“Even fundamentally sound companies can often under-perform their potential due to a temporary period of dislocation in the markets in which they operate, inefficient capital allocation, over-levered capital structures, excessive cost structures, incomplete management teams and/or inappropriate business strategies. Our management team has extensive experience in identifying and executing such full-potential investments,” the company continued.

In addition, our team has significant hands-on experience working with private companies in preparing to become a publicly traded company and serving as active owners and directors by working closely with these companies to continue their transformations and help create value in the public markets,” the company added.

The company’s stock began trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange on June 20, 2018, under the ticker symbol “LFACU.”

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