Richard Branson’s blank check acquisition company, Vg Acquisition, just raised $480 million via IPO

(Bloomberg) — Richard Branson’s blank-check company raised $480 million in an initial public offering, exceeding its target of $400 million.

Vg Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, said in a statement confirming an earlier Bloomberg News story that it had expanded the size of the offering. The company is set to begin trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VGAC.U.

SPACs, as they gain legitimacy, have attracted other billionaires including Bill Ackman. Their wealth and success have become a selling point for drawing in investors. SPACs can also be highly lucrative deals that can quickly add to their fortunes.

Vg Acquisition had filed to sell 40 million units at $10 each. Although Branson is the founder, he isn’t a director of the company, according to the prospectus.

The SPAC will target companies in consumer-facing industries in the U.S. and Western Europe, with a focus on businesses that provide consumer experiences in the sectors that Virgin Group already operates, according to its filings.

Credit Suisse Group AG is the sole bookrunner of the offering.

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