The Big Read: The Master of Destruction Rides AgainRead more

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. Photo by Bloomberg.

Airbnb’s SPAC Rejection: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Photo: Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. Photo by Bloomberg.

Merging with a special purpose acquisition company—those fast-proliferating publicly traded firms that have cash and whose mission in life is to acquire a business—has emerged as an appealing route for private tech firms looking to go public. But Airbnb’s rejection of an approach from hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s SPAC, reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, shows not everyone is convinced of their appeal.

Ackman’s SPAC, Pershing Square Tontine, raised a whopping $4 billion in July and could raise up to $3 billion more. Having as much as $7 billion at its disposal positions Ackman’s firm to merge with a big, brand-name company like Airbnb. Ackman has a track record doing that: Pershing several years ago arranged Justice Holdings, a SPAC that raised $1.5 billion and later merged with Burger King Worldwide. 

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Microsoft's Satya Nadella, left, and Peter Lee. Photo by Bloomberg, Microsoft
How Microsoft Swallowed Its Pride to Make a Massive Bet on OpenAI
Satya Nadella didn’t want to hear it. Last December, Peter Lee, who oversees Microsoft’s sprawling research efforts, was briefing Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, and his deputies about a series of tests Microsoft had conducted of GPT-4, the then-unreleased new artificial intelligence large-language model built by OpenAI.
Art by Clark Miller
The AI Age e-commerce ai
How to Grease a Chatbot: E-Commerce Companies Seek a Backdoor Into AI Responses
When Andy Wilson’s company received its first successful client referral through ChatGPT, he was shaken to his core.
Chris Britt, co-founder and CEO of Chime.
Exclusive startups Finance
Chime’s Slowdown Highlights Limits of Bank Disruptors
Chime found a way to offer zero-fee banking services without being a bank itself. But that approach is starting to show its limits.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read markets Finance
The Master of Destruction Rides Again
In the spring of 2022, the irascible Wall Street short seller Marc Cohodes was in a particularly foul mood.
Art by Mike Sullivan
startups asia
Venture Capitalists Face Pressure to Divest From China
Silicon Valley venture capitalists are coming to terms with a new reality: Their once-prized China investments may be victims of a simmering cold war.
Chart by Mike Sullivan.
Data Point enterprise
Enterprise Software’s Laggards: Firms Growing Slowly And Still Burning Cash
It’s the age-old refrain in American business: You have to spend money to make money. And it’s particularly true of the tech industry, where startups pour millions into untested new businesses and technologies.