It’s not an actual IPO, but at least it’s actually Portland: Vacasa to go public via SPAC

After a long drought, there have been any number of “Portland area” companies going public or planning to do so. There’s just been one slight problem. None of them are actually Portland companies. But now there might be one. Vacasa is in talks to go public via SPAC at a valuation of $4.5 billion.

If you’re not familiar with Special Purpose Aquisition Companies, it’s kind of new wrinkle on the concept of going public that’s become increasingly popular in recent months.

Let me put it in terms I can understand. Someone or someones goes out and raises a ton of money with the promise that they’re going to spend that money on a single promising company. The money — without a product or any operations — goes public, even before it has an acquisition target. Then it “merges” with an existing company, thereby taking that company public.

Clear as mud? Cool.

So Vacasa is doing one of those. Potentially.

“Part of the reason to do this transaction is to get more capital on the balance sheet, to increase our lead. And that means getting more homes and to continue to build out the tech stack to drive more product differentiation,” said Karl Peterson, non-executive chairman and director of TPG Pace Solutions and managing partner of TPG Pace Group.

TPG Pace Solutions has done seven SPACs. So they know what they’re doing.

I’ll keep an eye on this. As well as the ESS SPAC.

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