Bloomberg In Talks To Go Public Through A Bill Ackman SPAC

Amid the record flood of bubble-era SPAC or "blank check" offerings to hit the market in the past 2 quarters, and which allow a quick and dirty way to take a private company public, a new name has emerged and it's a shocker: after his failed presidential campaign, Mike Bloomberg is said to be in talks to take his media empire public through a SPAC controlled by Bill Ackman.

According to the NY Post, Mike Bloomberg may sell a minority stake in Bloomberg LP, the company behind both the cash cow that is the Terminal and the money-pit that is Bloomberg TV, to Ackman’s $5 billion blank-check company, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, which would then list Bloomberg on a public exchange. Past rumors have suggested Bloomberg - if elected president - would consider selling his company to either Warren Buffett or Bill Gates.

While it is unclear what motive billionaire Mike Bloomberg, 78, worth an estimated $55 billion, would have - it's not as if he has a pressing cash need - he has spoken about the plan directly with Ackman, said the NY post - which incidentally remains suspended by twitter for a 6th consecutive day.

If the deal goes through, Bloomberg would only sell a small stake in his iconic terminal and news business, of which which he owns 88%. The $60 billion Bloomberg generates revenue of $10 billion a year and Ackman would likely buy buy a 20% stake for $12 billion. "Twenty percent would be the most Mike would likely give up,” added one the investment banker with knowledge of the talks. "That’s enough to float without giving up too much."

One possible reason behind the move is that Bloomberg is seeking to boost his philanthropic endeavours.

Ackman supported Bloomberg’s ill-fated presidential run and the two men developed a personal relationship as a result, sources said. They are also both signatories of The Giving Pledge campaign founded by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that encourages billionaires to contribute the majority of their wealth to charitable causes before they die.

Ackman's motives are clearer: a merger with Bloomberg would be win for his investors, giving them stakes in a major media company for $24 a share, which is what they paid for stock in the shell entity.

"If he gets Bloomberg, that’s his masterpiece" an unnamed hedge fund manager - who we can only assume is Whitney Tilson - told the NY Post author, who also happens to be a former Dealbreaker. "Even getting 15 percent of that company makes his SPAC the biggest success yet, and he can raise another $5 billion one the next day."