Former member of Donald Trump’s cabinet plotting to snap up British digital lender Atom Bank in move that could see it listed on American stock market
A former member of Donald Trump’s cabinet is plotting to snap up British digital lender Atom Bank in a move that could see it listed on the American stock market.
Wilbur Ross, who served as commerce secretary, is in advanced talks with the Durham-based lender regarding a £700million merger with his special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Ross Acquisition Corp II.
SPACs are shell companies that are listed on stock markets, then raise money with the aim of finding a firm to acquire.
Plotting: Wilbur Ross is in advanced talks with Durham-based lender Atom Bank
If a deal is reached, Atom Bank would join several other prominent UK firms that have gone public via SPAC mergers. They include car-buying website Cazoo and Vertical, an electric aircraft company set up by OVO Energy founder Stephen Fitzpatrick.
The talks were first reported by Sky News.
Atom Bank, which operates through a mobile phone app, had previously considered plans to list on the stock market. However, the expectation was that it would float in London due to its focus in the UK.
Ross was nicknamed the ‘King of Bankruptcy’ on Wall Street for buying up distressed coal and steel firms and selling them for large profits.
In 2010, his private equity firm took a stake in Virgin Money shortly before it bought a chunk of Northern Rock. Ross then cashed out in 2016. Atom Bank was contacted for comment.