Houston blank check company files for $225m IPO

Graf Industrial, a blank check company based in NW Houston, has filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company plans to raise $225 million by offering 22.5 million units at a price of $10.

Graf was formed earlier this year by blank check veteran James Graf. It intends to buy an¬†industrial business in the US or Canada worth $1 billion. Mr Graf has served as a founder and executive officer or director of 4 special purchase acquisition companies (SPAC). They have raised $1.3 billion in their initial IPOs over the past 8 years. In his most recent deal, Mr Graf’s blank check company acquired Williams Scotsman, a business providing modular space solutions, for $1.1 billion.

The CFO of the company is Michael Dee. He spent a lot of his early career at Morgan Stanley in both Houston and Southeast Asia. Most recently Mr Dee was a Senior Advisor to the President for Finance of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing.

The principal stockholder or sponsor is an investment vehicle owned by Mr Graf, Mr Dee, Owl Creek (a hedge fund) and other investors that have had a long-standing relationship with Mr Graf.

EarlyBird Capital and Oppenheimer & Co are the joint bookrunners on the deal. The company plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol GRAF.U.

If the company completes its IPO it will end a barren run for Houston-area businesses. The last completed IPO was Spirit of Texas Bank, back in May. Nationally, Renaissance Capital predicts that the amounts raised through IPO’s in 2018 is on pace to be the 2nd largest in the last 15 years, behind only 2014.

SEC filing

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