Bitcoin Miner Iris Is Said to Weigh Australia’s First SPAC Deal

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Bitcoin mining business Iris Energy Pty is weighing proposals from blank-check firms seeking to take the Australian company public, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be the country’s first such listing.

The Sydney-based company has been approached by several special purpose acquisition companies about a deal to potentially list in the U.S. that could raise between $300 million and $500 million, the people said, asking not to be named discussing confidential matters.

Iris is also considering options including a conventional or direct listing on the Australian Securities Exchange or the Nasdaq, said the people.

Discussions are ongoing and there is no certainty that the company will go ahead with any listing, the people said.

SPACs, which are shell companies that sell shares to list on public stock exchanges with the stated purpose of searching out and acquiring private businesses, became an $83 billion market last year, making up about 46% of 2020’s record IPO volume in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The ASX doesn’t allow SPACs, and so far, no Australian company has merged with one.

Read More: SEC Punts Long-Awaited Bitcoin ETF Decision to at Least June

Iris Energy Co-Founder and Executive Director Daniel Roberts said the company aims to go public and was considering a number of pathways to a listing. The data center operator could also raise a fresh funding round first.

“We are in discussions with potential investors at the moment to do another private capital round in the very near term, as a bridge to the public markets,” Roberts said in a phone interview.

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