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JWL Partners Acquisition Corp., a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, submitted an IPO filing on Friday. The filing shows $200 million proceeds targeted at $10.00 per unit, each unit will consist of one share of stock and one warrant.  The total proposed maximum aggregate amount in securities is listed as $230,000,000 after the overallotments.  The underwriting group is listed as Credit Suisse and Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. They have applied to list under the ticker “JWL.U” on the American Stock Exchange.

The filing states that the blank check corporation intends to acquire or acquire control of one or more businesses although a particular industry or geographic region has not been targeted. The filing did state, however, that they will NOT compete with any asset management firm, hedge fund, or other financial institution. JWL Partners will evaluate potential targets on the following criteria:

  • Strong Competitive Position;
  • Established, Proven Track Records;
  • Companies with Potential for Strong Free Cash Flow Generation;
  • Experienced Management Team.

JWL Partners intends to capitalize on the 40 years of strong experience of their chairman, Jerry W. Levin. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of JW Levin Partners LLC, an investment firm through which Mr. Levin serves as Chairman of Sharper Image (NASDAQ: SHRP) and as the director of Wendy’s International, Inc. (NYSE: WEN). He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Clinton Group. Past experience includes high level management at the Pillsbury Company, The Coleman Company, Inc., Revlon, Inc. (NYSE: REV), and American Household, Inc. During his tenure at American Household, Mr. Levin restructured American Household’s operations and when it was sold to Jarden Corporation in 2005, the company’s businesses were leaders in their respective markets.

We’d normally throw up a red flag because of the ties to Sharper Image.  The difference is that Mr. Levin came in after the meltdown problems surfaced at Shaper Image, and that situation may have been close to untenable from the start.

Rachel Lopez
February 11, 2008