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Schorsch Returns to Financial Services as Chairman of a SPAC

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What You Need to Know

  • Nicholas Schorsch headed a financial empire that included Cetera.
  • SPACs are one of the hottest markets on Wall Street.
  • Schorsch's G&P Acquisition Corp. intends to invest in leisure, craft brewing and distilling, automotive and distribution companies.

Nicholas Schorsch, the former head of a one-time financial empire that included Cetera Financial Group and several nontraded REIT companies, who was accused of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his part in an excessive fee scheme involving REIT mergers, is back in the financial securities business.

Nearly two after Schorsch and his partner, Brian Block, the chief financial officer of American Realty Capital Properties Inc., settled with the SEC for $60 million (Block was also sentenced to 18 months in prison), Schorsch has returned to financial services as the chairman of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that has registered a $200 million securities offering with the SEC.

The SPAC, G&P Acquisition Corp., intends to sell 20 million units worth $10 each to invest in leisure, craft brewing and distilling, automotive and distribution companies. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one-half of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50. At the proposed deal size, G&P Acquisition would command a market value of $250 million.

In addition to Schorsch, the SPAC’s leadership includes his son-in-law Brendan O’Donnell as CEO and his son, Nicholas Schorsch Jr., as president. O’Donnell is also the CEO of craft brewer and distiller Newport Craft, Manager of 1639 Ventures and the 1899 family of companies, director of food and beverage for The Newport Concours d’Elegance, and partner at The Next Step Realty.

With G&P Acquisition Corp., Schorsch is entering one of the hottest markets on Wall Street. SPACs, also known as blank check companies because they collect funds upfront for undefined investments that will be made later, accounted for accounted for more than 70% of the money raised from initial public offerings during the first three weeks of January, according to Dealogic, collecting nearly $20 billion from investors. SPACs raised almost $80 billion in gross proceeds last year after raising $13.6 billion in 2019, and accounted for most the growth of the U.S. IPO market, according to Nasdaq.

(Pictured: Nicholas Schorsch)