Stablecoin firm Circle to go public in $4.5B blank-check deal

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Circle, a Goldman Sachs-backed fintech company focused on stablecoin development, has officially announced Thursday its plans to go public.

Under the terms of the agreement, a new Irish holding company will acquire both Concord and Circle and become a publicly-traded company that is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker “CRCL.” Upon completion of the transaction, existing Circle shareholders will hold around 86% ownership of the public entity.

The company said it would go public through a merger with blank-check company Concord Acquisition Corp in a deal valued at $4.5 billion.

Investors have additionally committed $415 million in private investment and public equity (PIPE) financing, which combined with cash in trust and Circle’s newly closed convertible note financing will provide the firm with over $1.1 billion in gross proceeds. The PIPE was supported by major institutional investors like Marshall Wace, Fidelity Management and Research Company  Adage Capital Management.

Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire will remain CEO of the company, and Concord chairman Bob Diamond is joining the board of directors. According to the announcement, the transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of both Concord and Circle and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. The transaction is subject to approval by shareholders of Concord and Circle and other customary closing conditions.

Circle is the principal developer of USD Coin (USDC), the second-largest stablecoin after Tether (USDT). In late May, the company raised $440 million in private investment from an array of private equity, institutional and strategic investors. Circle is backed by major American investment bank Goldman Sachs, which is serving as the exclusive financial advisor to Concord.

Earlier this year, Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire predicted that the company’s USDC is on track to surpass payments giant PayPal in terms of transacted dollar value.