Quayle joins ‘blank check’ firm’s IPO

From Times Wire Services

Former Vice President Dan Quayle and ex-Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz are joining with the chief executive of K2 Inc. in a bid to raise as much as $500 million in the second-largest initial public offering of a “blank check” shell company.

Palm Desert-based Heckmann Corp., which has no operations, plans to sell 62.5 million units for $8 each, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday. Each unit is made up of a common share and a warrant that gives the holder the right to purchase a share for $6.

Shares of blank-check firms, which have no operations, are sold to the public to finance a merger or acquisition that the executives haven’t yet identified. Such firms, also known as special-purpose acquisition companies, have raised $4.1 billion in 33 IPOs this year, compared with $1.4 billion in 22 offerings during the same period last year, according to Bloomberg data.

Richard Heckmann, 63, is the new company’s chairman and CEO, the filing says. He expects to leave his post as chief executive at Carlsbad, Calif.-based sporting goods maker K2 by Aug. 1. Quayle and Holtz are directors of both Heckmann Corp. and K2 but plan to resign from K2’s board, the filing says.


K2 agreed in April to be acquired by Jarden Corp., the maker of Coleman camping gear, for $1.2 billion.

Quayle, 60, was vice president under the first President Bush. He joined private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management in 1999 and serves as chairman of its global investment unit.

Holtz, 70, coached football at the University of South Carolina as well as Notre Dame.

GLG Partners, Europe’s third-largest hedge fund manager, said Monday that it would go public in the U.S. through a $3.4-billion combination with Freedom Acquisition Holdings Inc. In December, Freedom Acquisition raised $528 million, marking the largest-ever blank-check IPO.