Apollo heads to Amsterdam to pioneer first European private equity-led SPAC -sources

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - Apollo Global Management is planning to launch a blank-cheque firm in Amsterdam in what will be the first such vehicle led by an alternative asset manager to go public in Europe, a source said, crowning a hectic season for buyout funds globally.

Apollo, a U.S. private equity firm which has grown over the years to become one of Wall Street’s biggest alternative asset managers, is looking to raise about 400 million euros ($472.68 million) from a new special purpose acquisition company (SPAC)which is expected to go public after the summer, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

SPACs are shell companies that raise funds via a listing to acquire a private company with the purpose of taking it public.

The U.S. buyout fund appointed Credit Suisse and JPMorgan to manage the deal, the source added.

JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Apollo spokespeople declined to comment on the news, which was first reported by Bloomberg.

A successful deal would make Apollo - which has already gone down the SPAC route in New York - the first private equity firm to list a blank-cheque firm in Europe.

It would also pave the way for similar moves by rival buyout funds which are flush with money and looking for new ways to deploy capital.

Private equity-backed buyout deals rose 152% in the first six months of the year to a record $512 billion, representing 18% of global M&A volumes.

More than 400 SPACs have been listed globally since the start of this year, with U.S.-listings dominating the marketplace.

Apollo is currently backing Acropolis Infrastructure Acquisition, a blank-cheque firm looking to raise $400 million through a U.S. listing.

Europe has only seen a handful of blank-cheque vehicles listed in Amsterdam this year. But a recent slowdown in the United States - where regulators have tightened up scrutiny on the asset class - may favour European deals.

London has ambitions to play host to SPACs, but sponsors are awaiting a change to the rules that would make the issuance of such vehicles more attractive. ($1 = 0.8462 euros) (Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan, edited by Pamela Barbaglia and Kirsten Donovan)