Exploring SPACs for the Food Industry

Despite their recent popularity, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are unfamiliar to many in the food industry. Lazard Middle Market Managing Director David Iverson and Director Alejandro Cola join the Food Institute Podcast to provide an overview of SPACs and how they can affect food manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators. The pair discuss the history of SPACs, their recent boost in popularity, and recent examples of completed SPACs. Additionally, they highlight the main differences between SPACs and traditional IPOs, as well as the criteria that food companies can use to determine if a SPAC is the right vehicle for them.

Exploring SPACs for the Food Industry:

Hosted By: Chris Campbell
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More About Alejandro Cola:
Alejandro Cola is a Director and senior member of the Consumer, Food & Retail group at Lazard Middle Market. He has more than 17 years of investment banking experience advising public and private companies on M&A and capital markets transactions.

Prior to joining Lazard Middle Market, Mr. Cola worked at KeyBanc Capital Markets where he covered the food and beverage space working on a variety of transactions, including financing and M&A. Some of Mr. Cola’s clients included Chobani, Pulmuone, Ajinomoto, Mizkan, ThreeHouse Foods, KeHE Distributors, and Lipari Foods, among others. Prior to that, he spent several years advising companies and investors across Latin America and working as a teaching assistant in the Department of Corporate Finance at Universidad de la República in Uruguay.

Mr. Cola holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University and an Economic degree from Universidad de la República in Montevideo, Uruguay.

More About David Iverson:
David Iverson is a Managing Director and Head of the Consumer, Food & Retail group at Lazard Middle Market. He has been with the firm since 1999. His experience includes businesses in every sector of the food and agriculture chain–from animal production to foodservice to retail; and includes transactions with branded, private label, and foodservice companies. David has acted as financial advisor to clients on mergers and acquisitions (both buy-side and sell-side), refinancings and capital raises, and restructurings. Many of his transactions have been recognized by industry peers.

Prior to focusing exclusively on consumer, food and retail around 15 years ago, David was involved in transactions in a wide variety of other industries. Previously, David was a Director in the corporate accounting and finance department at Deluxe Corporation, a $2 billion diversified manufacturing and technology holding company. Prior to Deluxe, David was an Accountant with the Entrepreneurial Advisory Services group of Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers), where he worked with a number of consumer, food, and retail clients.

David was a Certified Public Accountant. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Iverson serves on the Board of Trustees of Groves Academy, a non-profit organization focusing on educating students with learning differences and literary instruction.

More About Our Sponsor: Lazard Middle Market
Lazard Middle Market LLC, a subsidiary of Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ), is a leading middle market investment bank that provides customized advice on mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity recapitalizations, and financial restructurings to mid-sized companies across a broad range of industries, including consumer, food/agriculture, and e-commerce/retail. Our Consumer, Food & Retail Group bankers have played key advisory roles in some of the most important, complex, and industry-defining transactions. Since 2000, they have completed more than 300 transactions for entrepreneurs, private equity groups, and corporations, many of which are award-winning, strategic, and cross-border. The firm leverages the global resources of Lazard, which include professionals in 40 offices across 25 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South and Central America.

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