Everest Consolidator Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company launched by Adam Dooley, former head of wealth management at MetLife Europe, in 2021, signed an agreement in May to merge with Unifund Financial Technologies, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based consumer debt servicing company.
The deal, which would take Unifund public via the SPAC, values the company at $238 million, and is subject to Everest having $40 million in available cash, according to a filing. The combined entity would trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Dooley launched the SPAC in 2021, with the goal of acquiring firms in the wealth management space, including wealthtech companies. He raised $172.5 million in the public markets.
But Unifund is an accounts receivable portfolio investment firm, which purchases, manages and liquidates distressed consumer receivables for both public and private institutions.
In March, the SPAC’s board approved a three-month extension to get a deal done to May 28. But in May, after agreeing to acquire Unifund, Everest secured another three-month extension to Aug. 28, 2023, the last delay it will be allowed.
The company’s sponsor, Everest Consolidator Sponsor, deposited an aggregate of $1.725 million into its trust account to enable the extension. The company also issued 1.15 million private placement warrants, at a rate of $1.50 each, to the sponsor with the same terms as those issued in connection with the closing of the IPO.
A spokesman for Everest and Dooley did not return a request for comment by press time.
Overall, the SPAC market had a rough 2022, with many deals simply collapsing. But some SPACs are succeeding in the wealth management space.
Kingswood Acquisition Corp. (KWAC), the SPAC sponsored by the major shareholders in British wealth management firm Kingswood Group and a sister company to Kingswood U.S., is on track to take broker/dealer aggregator Wentworth Management Services, which owns four independent b/ds, public under the name Binah Capital Group. The SPAC’s shareholders recently approved a three-month extension to get the deal done from May 24, 2023, to Aug. 24, 2023.
Earlier this year, Cartesian Growth Corporation closed on its deal to merge with RIA Tiedemann Group and wealth and investment manager Alvarium Investments. The combined firm began trading under the ticker 'ALTI.'