Better plans IPO through SPAC merger

New York-based digital mortgage lender Better.com is on the verge of its initial public offering (IPO) this month, achieved through a merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Aurora Acquisition Corp.

The CEO of Aurora, Arnaud Massenet, confirmed that the deal had garnered approval from “at least 65%” of its shareholders by August 11th. Meanwhile, a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicated that the agreement could be finalised “on or about” August 22, 2023.

This merger is positioned to provide the lender with access to up to $750 million in capital. Of this amount, $550 million is slated to be secured through a subscription arrangement with the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, as disclosed in a separate filing with the SEC in July. SoftBank’s contribution has the potential to increase by an additional $100 million if it matches a $100 million investment from the investment firm Novator.

The path to Better.com’s public listing has been a protracted one. The lender initially announced its intention for a SPAC merger in May 2021 but opted to defer the move.

Notably, the company’s Founder and CEO, Vishal Garg, encountered significant backlash in December 2021 after conducting a Zoom call to announce the layoff of approximately 15% of the company’s workforce, equating to around 900 employees.

Subsequently, in March of the following year, the company initiated a fresh round of job cuts, disclosing plans to eliminate an additional 3,000 positions, nearly a third of its workforce.

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