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REFILE-Perella Weinberg to go public via $975-million deal with Betsy Cohen's SPAC

(Corrects deal size in headline)

Dec 30 (Reuters) - Boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners on Wednesday agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm, or a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), backed by banking entrepreneur Betsy Cohen in a deal valued at $975 million.

Cohen’s FinTech Acquisition Corporation IV, which had raised $230 million in September through an initial public offering (IPO), will acquire Perella Weinberg in a deal that includes a commitment of $125 million from investors such as Fidelity Management and Wellington Management.

The merged entity will list on the Nasdaq under the symbol ‘PWP’, the companies said in a statement. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021, pending approvals.

Perella Weinberg has been part of some of the biggest deals in the United States in the past few years, including the $3.2-billion buyout of SodaStream by PepsiCo and American International Group’s $5.56 billion acquisition of reinsurer Validus Holdings.

The investment bank was founded by veteran Wall Street bankers Joseph Perella, Peter Weinberg and Terry Meguid in 2006. Separately, Perella Weinberg had said it was planning an IPO of its blank-check firm PWP Forward Acquisition Corp I, which will be led by Stacia Schlosser Ryan.

SPACs raise funds in an IPO with the aim of buying a private company and have become immensely popular investment vehicles this year. The acquired company then becomes public as result of the merger and it is an alternative to the traditional IPO process.

At least 208 SPACs have raised more than $70 billion so far this year, according to SPAC Research. Besides Cohen, the founder of Jefferson Bank and Bancorp Inc, other prominent businesswomen such as Joanna Coles too have taken their SPACs public. (Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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