Ex-L Catterton Asia chief Ravi Thakran’s second SPAC files for $300m IPO in the US

Ravi Thakran Photo: Rajesh Gupta/Livemint

Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle II, the second blank cheque company formed by former L Catterton Asia head Ravi Thakran, has filed to raise up to $300 million in an initial public offering in the US.

The special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) plans to offer 30 million units at $10 each, with each unit consisting of one share of common stock and one-third of a warrant. At the proposed deal size, Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle II would command a market value of $375 million.

The filing comes nearly five months after the first SPAC, Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle, raised around $240 million in an IPO in the US. In an earlier interview with DealStreetAsia, Thakran said this was the right size to merge with companies that are valued between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion.

The previous SPAC is pending an acquisition of private aviation company Wheels Up, whose early investors include sports stars such as Serena Williams, Lance Armstrong, and Tom Brady. Wheels Up earlier announced that it would merge with Aspirational to go public at a valuation of more than $2 billion.

In the recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Thakran said the second SPAC intends to focus on businesses with premium brands that offer an aspirational lifestyle experience to consumers, which the group refers to as “aspirational lifestyle space”.

“We believe that there are many potential targets that deliver this experience that could become attractive public companies with long-term organic growth, attractive competitive dynamics, and further consolidation opportunities,” the company said in the filing.

SPACs are companies without operations that are formed only to raise capital to acquire other businesses. Merging with a SPAC has become an increasingly popular method for closely-held businesses to raise capital for growth.

SPACs typically acquire firms as quickly as four to five months. They are given up to two years to seek targets. If they cannot fulfill that mandate, they will have to return all the money to the public shareholders.

“Many SPACs have been raised globally and in Asia – but now many have been able to find a world-class asset in a few months’ time. And we now understand what clicks and what is the right target for us,” Thakran told DealStreetAsia in an earlier interview.

Thakran has spent the last 20 years in various roles in the LVMH conglomerate, investing in Asian consumer brands and entrepreneurs. He founded L Capital Asia in 2009, the Asian private equity venture of LVMH. L Capital merged with Catterton in 2016 to form L Catterton.

DealStreetAsia broke the news in May last year that Thakran was exiting from L Catterton Asia. He held dual roles of chairman and co-managing partner at L Catterton Asia, and group chairman at LVMH South and Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.