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Cryptocurrency firm Bullish to go public in $9 billion SPAC deal

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By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

(Reuters) - Cryptocurrency company Bullish announced on Friday it had agreed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with Far Peak Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a $9 billion deal.

Bullish, a unit of blockchain software company Block.one, plans to launch a regulated crypto exchange later this year.

The company is backed by billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel's Thiel Capital and Founders Fund, British hedge fund manager Alan Howard, U.S. hedge fund manger Louis Bacon, Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, German investor Christian Angermayer's Apeiron Investment Group, Galaxy Digital, and Japanese bank Nomura.

The combined Bullish and Far Peak entity is poised to have a pro forma equity value at signing of approximately $9 billion, to be adjusted at the closing of the transaction based on crypto asset prices around that time, Bullish said in a statement.

Bullish and Far Peak's merger will result in proceeds that include net cash in trust of approximately $600 million, assuming no redemptions.

Market sentiment on cryptocurrencies has dimmed as China, Britain and Japan clamp down on the sector.

"Bullish's entry into the public markets allows our customers to take part in Bullish by holding a piece of our company, without any of the regulatory uncertainties or jurisdictional limitations of a profit-sharing token issuance," Brendan Blumer, Block.one's chief executive officer and the incoming chairman of Bullish, said in an email to Reuters.

The merger is expected to close by the end of 2021 and is subject to approval by Far Peak stockholders and other customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Far Peak is a SPAC focused on bringing leading financial and financial technology companies public. Far Peak CEO and Chairman Thomas Farley previously served as the president of the New York Stock Exchange. He will now become the CEO of Bullish.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Alden Bentley and Paul Simao)

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