Convenience chain GPM merges with blank check company to go public in $1.4 billion deal

(Reuters) - Haymaker Acquisition Corp II HYAC.O, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), said on Wednesday it will merge with GPM Investments in a deal worth $1.4 billion that will take the U.S. convenience chain operator public.

Haymaker, which went floated its shares in June 2019, will merge with GPM Investments and its controlling shareholder Arko Holdings Ltd ARKO.TA, the companies said. (

The publicly traded firm will be called Arko Corp and list on Nasdaq under the symbol “ARKO”. The combined entity will be led by GPM’s current management team.

Shares of Arko, whose primary asset is a controlling stake in GPM, will be de-listed from the Tel Aviv stock exchange, as part of the deal.

GPM operates in three segments, retail, wholesale and GPM Petroleum, and is present in 23 U.S. states.

A SPAC, or a blank check company, is a shell company that uses IPO proceeds and debt to acquire another company, typically within two years. Investors are not notified in advance what the SPAC will buy.

SPACS, which were once relegated to the backwaters of capital markets, have emerged this year as a major driver of IPOs, led by high-profile deals for the likes of space tourism company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and fantasy sports and gambling company DraftKings Inc.

Healthcare services provider MultiPlan and electric-car maker Fisker were other notable private firms to go public this year by merging with blank check companies.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta