Pico plans to go public in a $1.75 billion deal following merger

Special-purpose acquisition company Athena Acquisition Corp. announced on Wednesday, alongside technology service provider Pico, definitive merger plans amounting to $1.75 billion.

Pico Quantitative Trading – solutions provider to the financial market community – agrees to a merger with blank-check company Athena Acquisition, led by former The Bancorp CEO Betsy Cohen.

The deal is set to provide New York-based Pico with $450 million proceeds in cash and is estimated to value the company at $1.4 billion.

In addition to the $450 million in earnings, the transaction will also include $200 million in private investment in public equity (PIPE), while sponsors are expected to invest around $25 million of the $200 million PIPE. This will allow sponsors to fully commit to supporting transactions by purchasing special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) shares in the open market.

Some of the firm’s most loyal PIPE investors consist of private equity firm Golden Gate Capital and private investment management firm Wellington Management.

Pico management will be subject to issuance thresholds with an incentive pool of 5 million earn-out shares. While 50 percent of issued shares will close above $13.00 upon stock closing, the other 50 percent will close at $15.00, according to Pico’s investor presentation.

The New York-based firm sees the Fixated Threat Assessment Center (FTAC) as a leading and strong strategic partner that will open doors in sponsoring teams which will eventually bring deep expertise in FinTech and financial services sectors.

Betsy Cohen, a veteran in the SPAC sponsors space, had already closed deals with some of the biggest names in the financial field; among them are investment banking firm Perella Weinberg, Israel’s stocks and cryptocurrency trading platform eToro, and global payment service provider Payoneer.

In February, FTAC Athena managed to grow its IPO to $250 million by utilizing and investing the money from its initial public offering and then acquiring or merging with private companies to take them public.

At the center of its ecosystem, Pico has a long history of supplying leading financial institutions with its services leading to a remarkable rise in its revenue. Back in 2020, Pico possessed a prominent set of customers, which led to the firm’s revenue increase reaching a whopping $157 million.

It is anticipated that after the transaction is completed in late 2021, Pico will begin trading on global electronic marketplace Nasdaq.