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Sternlicht’s Blank-Check Firm Seeks $500 Million in U.S. Listing

Jaws Acquisition Corp. aims to list on the New York Stock Exchange and would target companies in growth-oriented industries.

(Bloomberg)—A special purpose acquisition company co-founded by billionaire real estate executive Barry Sternlicht started taking orders for its $500 million initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Jaws Acquisition Corp., a so-called blank-check company, aims to list on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Jaws will target companies in growth-oriented industries and won’t compete with Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group, which focuses on real estate, lodging, oil and gas and energy infrastructure, according to the company’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Miami Beach, Florida-based company filed a prospectus Monday to increase the offering to $500 million from $400 million. The filing features the new amount superimposed on a photo of a toothy, open-mouthed shark.

A representative for Jaws didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sternlicht is the chairman of Jaws and its other co-founder is Chief Executive Officer Joe Dowling, who also runs Brown University’s endowment. The company’s directors include Doug Ostrover, a founder of Blackstone Group Inc.’s credit arm, GSO Capital Partners.

Blank-check companies are having a moment with higher-profile sponsors getting involved in the deals, partly in response to the extreme volatility brought on by the pandemic that has crippled the rest of the IPO market. Such companies, also known as SPACs, have raised $6.48 billion in 21 listings this year in the U.S., compared with $4.9 billion for the same number of listings during the same period in 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Jaws offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc. The shares, which will have a set price of $10 each, are expected to trade under the symbol JWS/U.

To contact the reporters on this story: Crystal Tse in New York at [email protected];

Gillian Tan in New York at [email protected].

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at [email protected];

Alan Goldstein at [email protected]

Michael Hytha

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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