Michael Stern forms $200M SPAC with former Citadel analysts

JDS Development founder’s blank-check firm will target industrial and construction-tech investments

National /
Aug.August 03, 2021 09:24 AM
Michael Stern of JDS Development

Michael Stern of JDS Development

JDS Development’s Michael Stern has found his next venture, confidentially filing to form a SPAC with two former Citadel credit analysts.

The blank-check firm, called Onyx Acquisition Co. I, will seek $200 million to target general industrial and construction-tech companies valued at between $1 billion and $2 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter who said paperwork has already been filed with the SEC.

Stern will be the chairman and CEO of the SPAC, while former Citadel analysts Benjamin Lerner and Matthew Vodola will be president and CFO, respectively.

Some 278 SPACs went public in a blank-check craze in the first quarter of the year, according to Bloomberg data, leading to new guidance from the SEC in April. The trend has cooled since then, with just 39 SPACs going public in the following four months.

Michael Stern’s JDS Development is responsible for the skyscrapers at 111 West 57th Street and the American Copper Buildings at 626 First Avenue. The company is also building at 9 DeKalb Avenue, which will be the tallest building in Brooklyn once completed.

But Stern has also faced some setbacks in recent months. In March, he sold his personal duplex at the Walker Tower in Chelsea — also developed by JDS — for 24 percent less than the initial listing price. A Park Slope condo project majority-owned by a JDS affiliate at 613 Baltic Street filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May.

[Bloomberg News] — Holden Walter-Warner





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