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UK digital lender Atom Bank eyes New York IPO

written by Bella Palmer
atom-bank

Atom is set to float in New York via $879m merger with a SPAC set up by Donald Trump’s former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross

UK digital lender Atom Bank is eyeing up a listing in New York in what will be a major blow to London’s efforts to promote itself as a premier destination for tech IPOs.

Durham-headquartered Atom, founded in 2013 by Mark Mullen, is set to float in New York via a £700m ($879m) merger with a special purpose acquisition company set up by Donald Trump’s former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, Sky News first reported.

The terms of the deal would see the digital lender merge with Ross Acquisition Corp II and would raise about £150m ($188m) through a so-called PIPE – a private investment in public equity.

Plans for the deal are already at an advanced stage, sources told Sky News, but there was no guarantee the deal would go ahead as recessionary fears and soaring inflation batter the public markets.

Atom’s shift onto the public markets has long been the subject of speculation, with boss Mark Mullen saying a £75m ($94m) cash injection in February was ‘a fundamental next step on our journey toward IPO’.

The firm claimed in February that no decision had been made over a destination for the floatation, however.

The SPAC was listed in spring of last year by Ross, who has been a prominent financier on Wall Street for decades and helped shape the US government’s ties with China during his time working in the Trump administration between 2017 and 2021.

Any deal will be a major blow to London’s efforts to promote itself as an international listings capital.

Politicians have launched a charm offensive in recent months to try and woo more tech firms and fintechs into floating in London, with City Minister John Glen meeting bosses in February in a bid to sell London as a place to float.

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