Famed billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman explained to Bloomberg late last week that his SPAC company held initial talks with Airbnb about taking the short term rental giant public via a $5 billion cash injection. Airbnb ultimately turned down the offer but according to Ackman, the San Francisco based company has not ruled out going public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).
Going public through a SPAC would see Airbnb more able to control its share price as well as giving the company more certainly about raising capital without having to embark on a roadshow. Speaking about the differences between the two methods, Ackman said of the traditional IPO process:
“You’re taking ‘Behind door No. 3’ as opposed to the bird in hand, so to speak”
Airbnb has been seen as a company ripe for a SPAC deal as they become increasingly common for well-known companies looking to raise capital without expensive roadshows. Fellow PropTech company Porch.com went public via such a deal as recently as August and there has been a lot of speculation over whether Airbnb would follow suit.
Airbnb looks all set for an IPO late in the year and is apparently awaiting the results of November’s election to pull the trigger.