Circle, the crypto startup behind the popular stablecoin, USDC, announced Thursday that the company plans to go public. Circle will go public through a merger with a publicly traded special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) called Concord Acquisition Corp.
The deal will see Circle valued at $4.5 billion when it goes public, making it the second US crypto company to go public after Coinbase.
A SPAC merger is a listing approach whereby a publicly-listed company with no commercial operation provides a route for a private company to go public. The public company raises funds for the acquisition via an initial public offering (IPO) and then uses the raised funds to merge with a private company which in this case is Circle.
Under the terms of the deal, a new Irish company will acquire Circle and Concord and then become a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) using the ticker, “CRCL.”
Circle shareholders will still maintain an 86% ownership of the business, while Circle’s co-founder, Jeremy Allaire, will retain the position of CEO. Meanwhile, Concord’s Chairman Bob Diamond will join the board for the newly formed company.
On the financial side, the merger is backed by $415 million of capital contributed by Circle’s institutional backers, including Marshall Wace, Fidelity Management and Research, Third Point, and Ark Investment. Another $$276 million in cash held at Concord’s trust account will go into the new business, making a total of $691 million of cash injection.
As noted earlier, Circle’s primary product is the USDC stablecoin which has recorded remarkable growth in the past year. The stablecoin only trails Tether’s USDT as the most widely used, and already boasts a $25 billion market cap within less than three years after launch.
Circle’s USDC is also the primary stablecoin partner for payment giant, Visa, and is live on popular blockchains including Ethereum, Solana, Algorand, etc.
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