Bitcoin Miner Iris Expected To Weigh Australia’s First PSPC Deal
Bitcoin mining firm Iris Energy Pty is evaluating proposals from blank check companies seeking to take the Australian company public, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be the country’s first such listing.
The Sydney-based company has been approached by several special purpose acquisition firms over a U.S. listing deal that could raise between $ 300 million and $ 500 million, the people said, asking not to be appointed to discuss confidential matters.
Iris is also considering options, including a conventional or direct listing on the Australian Securities Exchange or the Nasdaq, the people said.
Discussions are ongoing and there is no certainty the company will go ahead with an entry, the people said.
PSPCs, which are shell companies that sell shares to be listed on the stock exchange for the stated purpose of researching and acquiring private companies, grew into an $ 83 billion market last year, accounting for about 46% of the market. Record IPO volume of 2020 in the United States, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. ASX does not allow PSPCs, and so far no Australian company has merged with one.
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Iris Energy co-founder and chief executive Daniel Roberts said the company intends to go public and is considering a number of avenues to a listing. The data center operator could also raise a new round table first.
“We are currently in talks with potential investors to do another round table in the very near term, as a bridge to the public markets,” Roberts said in a telephone interview.
In March, the company increased an Australian $ 20million ($ 15.5million) fundraiser, citing strong investor demand, before what it said was plans for a first sale of shares. in the middle of this year. That round was widened again, ultimately raising A $ 110 million, Roberts said.
Proceeds from the March fundraiser were used to build a 50-megawatt data center in British Columbia, Canada, in addition to an already-funded 30-megawatt project, the company said. The facilities operate Bitcoin mining equipment powered by renewable energy, according to its website. In British Columbia, the majority of electricity comes from hydroelectric power.
Bitcoin is increasingly being watched for the amount of energy used in its creation, especially in regions where electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal. Bitcoin mining alone can account for annualized carbon dioxide emissions comparable to Sweden’s, according to a Digiconomist estimate.
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Not only are Iris electricity providers using renewable energy, the company has made deals with them to curtail mining and divert electricity to regional grids during peak hours, Roberts said.
“We can sit here today and say that clothes dryers and Christmas lights are a waste of energy, but at the end of the day the market decides where the energy is to be diverted and it chooses Bitcoin,” Roberts said. “We ask how we can serve this market in a way that benefits the energy transition and regional employment.
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