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Dyal and Owl Rock plan merger in one of largest Spac deals

Dyal Capital is in talks to merge with Owl Rock Capital and go public via a blank-cheque vehicle, in a complex deal that will value the two asset managers at a combined $13bn. 

Altimar Acquisition Corporation, the special purpose acquisition company set up by HPS Investment Partners, said in a regulatory filing it was in exclusive talks with the companies but there was no guarantee that a deal would be agreed. 

The deal is a further sign that Spacs — 2020’s hottest investment phenomenon — have started to set their sights on bigger and more complicated transactions. If a deal is agreed, it would be among the largest to date for a Spac. 

The three-way combination seeks to put together financial entities with very different expertise, ranging from buying minority stakes in private equity companies in Dyal’s case to providing risky debt to troubled companies, in the case of Owl Rock.

Dyal, which is a division of US asset manager Neuberger Berman, last year bought a 20 per cent stake in Owl Rock for about $500m, giving the latter group a valuation of $2.5bn. Dyal has also owned a minority stake in HPS Investment since 2018.

New York-based Dyal is among a series of asset managers set up to acquire stakes in private equity and other alternative investment companies. 

The company, started by former Lehman Brothers bankers in 2011, seeks to profit from the asset management and performance fees generated by its portfolio of private equity groups, which include Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners and Sixth Street Partners. 

Owl Rock, set up by veteran financiers Doug Ostrover, Marc Lipschultz and Craig Packer in 2016, is best known for providing direct lending to finance leverage buyouts.

HPS is a debt specialist and recently raised a $9bn fund to lend money to non-investment grade distressed companies. It created Altimar Acquisition Corporation to hunt for deals in industries ranging from finance to healthcare to media.


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