ION-backed SPAC aims to raise $500 million in U.S. IPO

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MILAN (Reuters) - Financial software group ION is sponsoring a $500 million listing of a special purpose acquisition vehicle to invest in financial technology and services, filings with the U.S. securities regulator showed.

The move adds to a wave of recent listings of so-called SPACs or special purpose acquisition companies, shell vehicles that raise money in an initial public offering (IPO) to buy and then merge with another company, typically within two years.

The SPAC, ScION Tech Growth I is aiming to sell 50 million units at $10 each, it said in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It said it planned to use the proceeds to invest in companies that offer "specific technology solutions, broader technology software and services in the financial services sector".

The target company will have an enterprise value between $3 billion and $10 billion, a source close to ION said on Tuesday.

Dublin-based ION group, founded and led by Italian businessman Andrea Pignataro, is specialised in software, data and analytics for financial institutions.

ION committed to a forward purchase agreement to buy an additional stake in the SPAC up to $300 million at the closing of the acquisition.

SPACs, which offer a way onto the market for privately held companies without the expense of an IPO, have surged in popularity, with recent deals including electric vehicle startup Nikola Corp and electric carmaker Fisker Inc.

However several have cut the size of their offerings in a possible sign the market may be cooling.

UBS and Citigroup are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering.

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)