Bill Ackman approached Airbnb Inc. about a merger with his blank-cheque company, but the home-rental site rebuffed the billionaire investor and said it prefers a traditional initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
Airbnb hasn’t completely ruled out a merger with Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd., although no discussions are currently underway, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. Early stage discussions broke off when Airbnb filed confidentially for an IPO last month, the people said.
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Representatives for Airbnb and Pershing Square declined to comment.
Ackman’s special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, raised US$4 billion in an IPO in July. He said in a letter to investors last week that he was holding discussions with a number of potential companies — one of which is Airbnb, according to the people.