Ex-Brightpoint execs plan IPO to raise $100M for new tech firm

Brightpoint Inc. founder Bob Laikin and several other local tech-industry executives have formed a new tech-focused company, Indianapolis-based Novus Capital Corp., which this week signaled its intent to go public with a $100 million offering.

Novus formed on March 5 as a “blank check company”—an entity that exists to acquire one or more target businesses as a way to take those companies public. It filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Tuesday laying out plans to sell 10 million units at $10 apiece, with proceeds funding the acquisitions.

Each unit consists of one share of common stock plus half of a warrant to purchase stock at $11.50 per share. The company intends to list its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

“Specifically, we intend to target companies that are at the forefront of high technology and are enabling the future evolution of 5G communication, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning, hardware and software distribution and value-added customized logistics services,” Novus said in the filing.

Laikin, 56, who serves as Novus’ chairman, declined to comment when contacted by IBJ. The SEC imposes a “quiet period” on management teams in advance of IPOs because public statements could be deemed as promoting the stock.

According to the filing, Laikin is among several former Brightpoint executives involved with Novus. Others include Larry Paulson, 66, who will serve as Novus’ CEO, and Vincent Donargo, 59, who will serve as chief financial officer.

Paulson also has held executive posts at Qualcomm and Nokia. Donargo served as chief financial officer of the Indianapolis-based trucking company Celadon Group from May 2019 until December, when it filed for bankruptcy and went out of business.

Laikin founded Brightpoint, a wireless phone distributor, in 1989, and he served as its CEO. California-based Ingram Micro Inc. acquired the company for $840 million in 2012.

Other board members include Brad Bostic, 45, the CEO of Hc1, an Indianapolis-based maker of data analytics software for health care organizations; and Heather Goodman, 47, the cofounder, president and chief operating officer of San Francisco-based wealth management firm True Capital Management.

According to its prospectus, Novus will redeem stockholders’ shares and cease operations if it has not completed a merger or acquisition within 24 months from the completion of the offering.

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