Richard Branson-backed blank-check company files for IPO

(Reuters) - VG Acquisition Corp, a blank-check company founded by billionaire Richard Branson, filed for an initial public offering on Wednesday.

A blank-check firm, also called a special purpose acquisition company, raises money through an IPO to buy an operating company, usually within two years.

Branson, best known for founding the airline Virgin Atlantic, will join big-name investors such as Bill Ackman and Michael Klein who have raised billions of dollars through similar IPOs amid a rush for blank-check firms that has gripped U.S. capital markets in recent months.

VG Acquisition said it plans to sell 40 million units, made up of shares and warrants, on the New York Stock Exchange. It set a placeholder price of $10 per unit.

The company said it would primarily search for consumer-facing businesses and has not selected any specific combination target yet.

Credit Suisse is the sole book-runner of the IPO. (

Underwriters have an option to purchase up to an additional six million units to cover over-allotments, VG Acquisition said.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Krishna Chandra Eluri