Blackstone Group-backed Finance of America to go public via a blank check acquisition company

The Blackstone Group Inc (NYSE: BX)-backed Finance of America Equity LLC is planning to go public through a merger with a blank check company, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

What Happened: The consumer-lending platform is expected to merge with special purpose acquisition company Replay Acquisition Corp (NYSE: RPLA) in a deal that will give it a valuation of $1.9 billion, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Institutional investors would reportedly make a private investment of $250 million in Finance of America as it goes public.

The deal is expected to leave Blackstone with 70% ownership of the company.

The consumer lender was originally considering going public through an initial public offering but began negotiating with the founders of Replay Acquisition in the summer, the Journal reported.

Why It Matters: Finance of America’s services span mortgages, reverse mortgages, commercial-real-estate loans, and fixed income investing.

The flurry of activity around SPACs continues unabated. Last month, United Wholesale Mortgage, the biggest wholesale mortgage originator in the United States, was reported to be considering a merger with the blank check company Gores Holdings IV Inc (NASDAQ: GHIV) at a record valuation of $16.1 billion.

Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group Corp (OTC: SFTBY) is also preparing to launch a SPAC in two weeks’ time as it remains flush with liquidity.

Chamath Palihapitiya’s three SPAC firms raised $2.1 billion IPOs, last week.

This month, Los Angeles-based Fisker Inc, an EV startup, is expected to go public by merging with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp (NYSE: SPAQ).

Price Action: Blackstone Group shares closed almost 0.5% higher at $54.97 on Monday. On the same day, Replay Acquisition shares closed nearly 0.2% lower at $10.26.

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