Shift Aims For Back-Door Public Listing
Shift Founder and Co-CEO George Arison. Photo credit: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit via Sportsfile, under Creative Commons license Shift, a San…
|Shift Founder and Co-CEO George Arison.
Photo credit: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit via Sportsfile, under Creative Commons license
Shift, a San Francisco-based online used car retailer, is in talks for a back-door listing via a merger with blank-check firm Insurance Acquisition, according to sources familiar with the matter. For starters, blank-check firms refer to publicly-traded entities taken public for the sole purpose of merging with another company. Blank-check firms usually offer privately-held companies a quicker and seemingly easier way to list publicly. Shift, which has raised about $300 million in debt and equity funding throughout its lifetime, is apparently looking to go public via what’s usually termed as a “back-door” listing.
Insurance Acquisition is a blank-check company which completed a public listing in March of last year. It raised $150 million from investors, money that’s usually reserved for the merging company. This implies Shift would be tapping more funding while it takes to the public markets. Insurance Acquisition is headed by John Butler, an insurance and finance veteran with more than two decades of experience in the industry. He’s currently a portfolio manager and insurance executive at Cohen & Company, a publicly-traded investment management firm.
Insurance Acquisition’s stock has shot up some several percent (as of writing) in reaction to news reports of Shift looking to merge with it.