Two of France’s best-known business figures have teamed up to launch a new blank-cheque firm that will target deals in the media and entertainment industry.
The holding companies of billionaire Francois Pinault’s family and banker Matthieu Pigasse today announced the launch of I2PO, a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) that will list in Paris.
The Spac will aim to raise an initial €250m (£212m) through a listing on the Euronext Paris exchange, though this sum could be raised to €300m.
I2PO will be led by Iris Knobloch, a veteran media industry executive who built her career at Warner Media.
The venture, which comes amid a flurry of dealmaking by blank-cheque firms, will be the first European Spac dedicated to the entertainment and leisure sectors.
Pinault, whose net worth is placed at $55bn by Forbes, founded luxury group Kering, which owns brands including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta.
Earlier this year he invested in another Spac set up by former Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam, while rival Bernard Arnault of LVMH also recently launched a blank-cheque firm.
Pinault’s son Francois Henri will represent the family on the board of I2PO.
Pigasse is an investment banker who previously held senior positions at Lazard. He also has interests in media assets including Le Monde and Mediawan.