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UK fintech Atom Bank eyes New York listing via SPAC merger – report

Atom Bank

British challenger bank Atom is reportedly considering a US public listing as interest from a New York-based special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) increases.

Founded in 2013, Atom Bank has been one of the standout success stories in the UK’s fintech market, capitalising on the introduction of open banking to compete with the traditional banking giants.

Along with Monzo, Starling, Revolut and more, Durham-based Atom has helped to establish the UK as a leading fintech hub.

However, a US listing would be a major blow to the London Stock Exchange, which has been keen to attract more initial public offerings (IPOs) from British tech firms.

Sources close to the situation have informed Sky News that a SPAC run by Wilbur Ross, former commerce secretary under the Donald Trump administration, is in talks with Atom Bank over a potential merger.

SPACs, also known as blank cheque companies, are entities created with the sole purpose of securing mergers and acquisitions.

The deal – currently said to be worth £700m – would see Atom Bank merging with Ross Acquisition Corp II, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

UKTN has contacted Atom Bank for comment.

Atom Bank SPAC talks at ‘advanced’ stage

While the deal has not been finalised, sources in the banking industry have said the discussions were at an advanced stage.

Should Atom agree to the deal, it would join the growing list of promising UK tech firms listing in the US via a SPAC merger.

That list includes online car selling platform Cazoo and Bristol-based aerospace company Vertical.

Atom Bank has been looking into its initial public offering (IPO) since it closed a £75m  funding round at a valuation of £435m in February.

Atom Bank told UKTN at the time it had yet to decide if it would go public in the UK or elsewhere.

Mark Mullen, co-founder and CEO of Atom recently spoke to UKTN where he discussed, among other things, his hatred of social media algorithms, saying “the platform algorithms that pit us against each other in pursuit of profit” are a technology the world would be better without.

He concluded by saying of the designers of said algorithms: “If there is a hell then I’d damn them to it.”