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UPDATE 1-Taboola to go public through $2.6 bln blank-check deal

(Adds investor details, advisers)

Jan 25 (Reuters) - Taboola, a company whose technology directs users to related content on the internet, said on Monday it would go public through a merger with ION Acquisition Corp. 1 Ltd., a blank-check firm, in a deal valuing the company at about $2.6 billion.

Taboola said bit.ly/3a402AP it had secured about $285 million in investment from institutional investors, including funds affiliated with ION and Phoenix Insurance. The U.S.-Israeli firm also counts funds managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research Co and Hedosophia among its investors.

A blank-check firm, also known as a special purpose acquisition company, is one that uses proceeds from an initial public offering to buy another company, in a deal that takes the company public.

SPACs raised more than $82 billion in 2020, more than four times the amount raised in 2019, according to data from Dealogic.

In 2021, Taboola plans to invest more than $100 million in research and development growth initiatives, including artificial intelligence, e-commerce, television and device manufacturers.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities acted as financial advisers to Taboola, while Cowen was the adviser to ION. (Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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