Mining billionaire Robert Friedland eyes green energy transition with new shell company – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 5, 2021)

Billionaire financier and mine builder Robert Friedland is aiming to raise as much as US$230-million to acquire a green energy company as he doubles down on efforts to make money from the global transition away from fossil fuels to a low emissions future.

Last week, Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp. filed paperwork to raise money for a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that will trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

The blank-cheque shell company will have 24 months to find an asset to acquire. If it is unable to do a deal, the proceeds raised must be given back to shareholders. Mr. Friedland will serve as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

The past few years has seen a surge in the number of blank-cheque companies coming to market in the United States. Last year, there were US$83-billion worth of SPAC offerings in the U.S. – more than six times higher than the year before.

“We intend to seek a target in industries related to the paradigm shift away from fossil fuels towards the electrification of industry and society,” Ivanhoe Capital said in the filing.

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