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Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Explores Forming Blank-Check Company

Gillian Tan

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. is exploring raising capital through a blank-check company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Yucaipa has interviewed investment banks ahead of a potential transaction, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. A capital raise would likely occur this year if the investment firm moves forward, one of the people said. No final decision has been made, this person said.

A representative for Yucaipa declined to comment.

Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, raise money from public investors with the goal of buying a company they haven’t identified yet, usually within two years. Merging with one has become a popular way for companies to go public as the coronavirus pandemic upends the markets. Companies including DraftKings Inc., Utz Quality Foods, F45 Training Holdings Inc. and Shift Technologies Inc. have agreed to go public by merging with SPACs this year.

Burkle -- a co-owner of the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins -- founded Yucaipa in 1986, according to its website. The firm counts private members club Soho House among its investments and last year sold its stake in Freehand Hotels

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