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Mergers & Acquisitions

Centricus Acquisition Barely Takes Three Months to Strike Deal

Published: May 25th, 2021
Cybersecurity company Arqit will go public in a $1.4 billion business combination with the SPAC.

It didn’t take Centricus Acquisition Corp. (CENH) long to make a deal.

The special purpose acquisition vehicle went public Feb. 4 and barely three months later has a $1.4 billion business combination teed up with encryption technology company Arqit Ltd.

London-based Arqit, via its QuantumCloud platform, creates software encryption keys it calls unbreakable for remote use without disrupting software or hardware operations.

The May 12 transaction calls for Arqit to receive $345 million from Centricus’ trust account as well as $70 million from a private-investment-in-public-equity issuance by Centricus. Investors in the PIPE include Arqit investors Virgin Orbit and Sumitomo Corp. as well as Centricus sponsor Heritage Group.

According to transaction documents Arqit investors will roll 100% of their equity into the deal. Following the completion of the business combination, Arqit investors will control 64% of the newly public company. SPAC investors will hold 25%, PIPE investors will own 5%, and Heritage will retain 6%.

The companies projected the transaction would close in the third quarter, and Arqit plans to list its shares under a ticker to be determined. The company will be renamed Arqit Quantum Inc.

Arqit founders CEO David Williams and chief technology officer David Bestwick along with CFO Nick Pointon will continue to lead Arqit.

The SPAC is backed by Monaco-based Heritage Group and London-based investment firm Centricus Asset Mnagement Ltd. The vehicle went public in a $345 million IPO with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. as underwriter. The offering included $45 million in oversubscription. The SPAC had no stated investment focus.

Editor’s note: The original version of this article was published earlier on The Deal’s premium subscription website. For access, log in to or use the form below to request a free trial.

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