Betsy Cohen's SPAC to take tech firm Pico public in $1.75 billion deal

(Reuters) - Fintech entrepreneur Betsy Cohen's special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) has agreed to merge with technology services firm Pico in a deal that gives the combined entity an equity value of $1.75 billion, the companies said on Wednesday.

Since last year, Cohen has clinched a series of such deals with high profile names including boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners, payments provider Payoneer and Israel's online stock brokerage eToro.

New York-based Pico's deal with Cohen's FTAC Athena Acquisition Corp will result in proceeds of $450 million for the combined company, and is supported by a private investment in public equity (PIPE) round of $200 million.

The PIPE investors include Golden Gate Capital and Wellington Management

Pico provides a number of technology services to the financial markets community, including infrastructure hosting and market data. Its customers include Wells Fargo & Co, Goldman Sachs and Tokyo Stock Exchange, among others.

SPACs - publicly-traded companies with no business operations - use the money from their initial public offerings to buy a private company and take it public. FTAC Athena raised $250 million in its IPO in February.

After the transaction closes in late 2021, Pico will trade on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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