Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross is looking to raise roughly $400 million to buy or invest in struggling companies.
Ross, who recently stepped down as chief executive of the investment firm he founded, has formed a new "blank check" company, WL Ross Holding Corp., that will look to "identify, acquire and operate a business that is experiencing underperformance or distress [or] operating in an industry undergoing a period of dislocation," according to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.
The prospectus did not say whether or not the firm would invest in banks. Ross' primary firm, WL Ross & Co., invested roughly $1.8 billion in the banking sector following the financial crisis, most notably teaming with three other private equity groups to capitalize BankUnited (BKU) in Coral Gables, Fla., after the bank failed and was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The firm sold off much of its ownership stake earlier this year at Ross said was a "very high rate of return" for investors.
WL Ross & Co. also scaled back its ownership stake in Talmer Bancorp (TLMR) in Troy, Mich., following Talmer's initial public offering in February.
According to the offering prospectus, the blank check company is offering 400,000 units to the public at $10 each. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one warrant. The offering could swell to $460 million if underwriters exercise their overallotment option.
The firm said in the prospectus that it has yet to initiate "substantive discussions" with potential business targets.