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Alex Webb

The SPAC Is Dead. Meet Bill Ackman's SPARC

The hedge fund billionaire is using his SPAC funds to acquire a 10% stake in Universal Music Group. Why?

Bill Ackman has something up his sleeve. 

Bill Ackman has something up his sleeve. 

Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

What do you do when enthusiasm for blank-check companies is waning, but you still have $4 billion burning a hole in your pocket?

For hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, the answer is to use most of the money for a different kind of deal. He’s also proposing another twist on special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, where investors give a shell corporation funds to buy an unidentified target.