Ex-Trump Cabinet Member Wilbur Ross Files to Form $345 Million ‘Blank-Check’ Company

February 3, 2021 Updated: February 3, 2021

Former Trump administration cabinet member Wilbur Ross filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to form a $345 million special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Ross, who served as former President Donald Trump’s secretary of Commerce, filed to form the Ross Acquisition Corp II and is seeking to raise $345 million, the filing revealed.

Former Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow, who previously worked for CNBC, will join Ross as director of the committee.

A SPAC can raise money from investors to be used for an acquisition of a private company before making it public.

“We are a newly organized blank check company incorporated on January 22, 2021 and formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses, which we refer to throughout this prospectus as our initial business combination,” said the SEC filing.

Ross and his group added that they haven’t yet “identified any business combination target and we have not, nor has anyone on our behalf, initiated any substantive discussions, directly or indirectly, with respect to identifying any business combination target.”

The company furthermore stated that it intends to identify a target business with either all or a substantial portion of its activities in Asia, North America, or Europe.

Ross will serve as the president, chairman, and CEO of the SPAC. Kudlow will serve as the SPAC’s director.

Other top executives include Stephen J. Toy, Nadim Z. Qureshi, Edward A. Snyder, and Lord William Astor—the English businessman and politician who sits as a Conservative hereditary Lord Temporal in the House of Lords and is also a member of the prominent Astor family.

Ross Acquisition stated that it plans to list its units on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ROSS.U.”

SPACs, known as “blank-check companies,” had a record run in 2020, raising more than $82 billion through IPOs. In January 2021, 91 SPACs raised $25.09 billion, according to data provider Dealogic.

Ross is among a growing list of politicians and government officials who have backed SPACs. Prominent figures including former House Speaker Paul Ryan and Gary Cohn, a former adviser to Trump, have also raised millions through their blank-check firms.

Meanwhile, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows joined the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), the group announced last week. The organization is headed by former Republican Rep. Jim DeMint.

“During my years in Congress and the White House, I repeatedly witnessed the great work of CPI to support conservatives on the Hill and in the Trump administration,” said Meadows last week. “Often flying under the radar, no group has played a more critical role in helping conservatives stay true to their principles in the hostile Washington swamp.”

Reuters contributed to this report.