Altimar Acquisition Corporation, which is in talks to acquire Dyal and Owl Rock, listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October © AFP via Getty Images

Dyal Capital is in talks to merge with Owl Rock Capital and go public via a blank-cheque vehicle in a complex deal that will value the two asset managers at a combined $13bn. 

Altimar Acquisition Corporation, the special purpose acquisition company, or Spac, set up by HPS Investment Partners, said in a regulatory filing it was in exclusive talks with the companies but there was no guarantee a deal would be agreed. 

The possible merger is a further sign that Spacs — this year’s hottest investment phenomenon — have started to set their sights on bigger and more complicated transactions. If a deal is agreed, it would be among the largest to date for a Spac. 

The three-way combination seeks to combine financial entities with very different expertise, ranging from buying minority stakes in private equity companies in Dyal’s case to providing risky debt to troubled companies for Owl Rock.

Dyal, which is a division of US asset manager Neuberger Berman, last year bought a 20 per cent stake in Owl Rock for about $500m, giving the latter group a valuation of $2.5bn. Dyal has also owned a minority stake in HPS Investment since 2018.

New York-based Dyal is among a series of asset managers set up to acquire stakes in private equity and other alternative investment companies. 

The company, founded by former Lehman Brothers bankers in 2011, seeks to profit from the asset management and performance fees generated by its portfolio of private equity capital groups, which include Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners and Sixth Street Partners. 

Owl Rock, set up by veteran financiers Doug Ostrover, Marc Lipschultz and Craig Packer in 2016, is best known for providing direct lending to finance leverage buyouts.

HPS is a debt specialist and recently raised a $9bn fund to lend money to non-investment grade distressed companies. It created Altimar Acquisition Corporation to hunt for deals in industries ranging from finance to healthcare to media.

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