Shearman & Sterling advised Credit Suisse as sole book-running manager on the initial public offering of Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings, a special-purpose acquisition company.
At a time when private technology companies are staying private for longer, Social Capital Hedosophia aims to offer an alternative path towards liquidity that comes with public ownership. Part of the thesis is that the traditional IPO process has not always succeeded in appropriately valuing technology companies and that these companies and their founders may be better served by negotiating their valuation directly with a team of industry veterans as compared to the traditional IPO book-building process. Social Capital Hedosophia also seeks to offer emerging technology companies leadership that will help them confront the obstacles of going public, while providing them with resources, deeper relationships and a support system.
Social Capital Hedosophia is a partnership between the investment firms Social Capital and Hedosophia. Social Capital is a Silicon Valley-based investment firm that manages over $1.8 billion of capital and invests in fast-growing companies ranging from early-stage startups to public companies in the healthcare, education, financial services, artificial intelligence, social media and technology sectors. Hedosophia is a venture growth firm that manages approximately $1 billion of capital with a focus on investing in consumer and technology companies in the United States, China and Europe, typically two to four years pre-IPO.
The Shearman & Sterling team was led by partners Harald Halbhuber and Ilir Mujalovic; and associates Sean Dougherty (all New York-Capital Markets), Gina Lee and Ashiq Aziz (both New York-Corporate). Other Shearman & Sterling lawyers involved in the transaction were partner Kristen Garry (Washington, DC-Tax); counsel Jennifer Morton (New York-Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory); and associates Adam Sternberg (New York-Tax) and Jenny Jordan (New York-Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory).