Tidjane Thiam’s Spac in talks with Mexican fintech Credijusto

Friday - 06/08/2021 08:59
$1.5bn deal includes Latin American corporate data provider CIAL Dun & Bradstreet

Tidjane Thiam’s blank-cheque company is in exclusive talks with Mexican fintech group Credijusto and Latin American corporate data provider CIAL Dun & Bradstreet with the aim of merging and listing the companies in New York later this year.

The former Credit Suisse chief executive has targeted Credijusto, a six-year-old banking start-up, because of its fast growth among underserved small businesses in Latin America, according to people familiar with the discussions, which ultimately may not lead to an agreement. 

The rationale is to integrate the lending capacity of Credijusto with data and analysis of CIAL to provide more loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, the people said. If the Spac merger is successful, Credijusto’s founders — 32-year-old David Poritz and 31-year-old Allan Apoj — would continue to lead their business.

The deal could value the combined companies at around $1.5bn, split roughly evenly, the people added.

Thiam, a Franco-Ivorian citizen who was also chief of the insurer Prudential, raised $345m for his special purpose acquisition vehicle, Freedom Acquisition, in March through an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

The merger is Thiam’s first attempt to refashion his image as a dealmaker following his controversial departure from Credit Suisse last year amid a corporate spying scandal. He is part of a wave of former top bankers to launch Spacs including former Citigroup executive Michael Klein and UniCredit chief Jean Pierre Mustier.

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