Wall Street dreams of Goop IPO tied to ‘aspirational lifestyle’ SPAC filing
In addition to vagina-scented candles and 18-karat gold dumbbells, Goop aficionados may soon be able to buy stock in the health and wellness retailer founded by Gwyneth Paltrow.
At least that’s the chatter around Wall Street after a monied investor launched plans for a new blank-check company focused on investing in an “aspirational lifestyle” company.
Ravi Thakran, a private equity partner and executive of luxury conglomerate LVMH, filed paperwork Wednesday for a new blank-check company called Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp., which is looking to raise $225 million to invest in “businesses with premium brands that offer an aspirational lifestyle experience to consumers.”
Such entities — formally known as a special acquisition vehicles or SPACs — have no business operations. They are created simply to raise money to buy an existing company that then takes over their stock listing.
Thakran’s SPAC could not be reached for comment about whether it has Paltrow’s health and wellness brand in its sights, but Wall Streeters say it makes sense.
“There aren’t a lot of private companies that fit the description here,” said one Wall Street banker who follows SPACs. “Goop fits, and it has a big enough profile to make SPAC investors happy.”
Adding to the intrigue, Thakran’s SPAC plans to raise $225 million, which sources note matches up with Goop’s most recent valuation of $250 million from March 2018.
“It’s definitely got to be on their radar,” said an investment banker. “It would be a solid business combination, and it would be very on-brand for Goop to do a SPAC while they are this hip.”
Paltrow founded Goop in 2008 as a weekly email newsletter providing new age health and advice that was often mocked, such as “eliminate white foods.” Despite on-going criticisms of Goop’s sometimes oddball offerings (including its recent $75 “This Smells Like My Vagina” candle), the actress has grown the company into a national name with more than 175 employees, Goop-branded retail stores, a line at make-up chain Sephora, and a Netflix series called “The Goop Lab.”
Sephora is owned by LVMH, where Thakran is group president of South Asia, South East Asia and Middle East.
It’s unclear if Paltrow would be willing to take Goop public through a SPAC, and her company declined to comment. But SPACs — a once backwater route to an IPO for no-name companies — are increasingly being used to create backdoor IPOs for household names like sport betting company DraftKings and electric car maker Nikola.
High-profile investors are also increasing getting in on the act, including billionaire Bill Ackman and former Goldman Sachs president turned former Trump White House advisor Gary Cohn.
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