Thunder Bridge Acquisition, Limited

Thunder Bridge Acquisition, Limited

Oct 19, 2020 by Roman Developer


ENTERPRISE VALUE: $663.2 Million

*SPACInsider estimate a/o 7-8-19


Thunder Bridge Acquisition Ltd. (TBRG), proposes to acquire Repay Holdings, LLC, a provider of vertically-integrated payment solutions. REPAY processed approximately $7 billion of payment volume in 2018 across verticals, such as personal loans, automotive loans and receivables management. The Company serves more than 3,000 clients via a proprietary, omni-channel payment platform that reduces complexity for merchants and enhances the consumer experience.

REPAY’s management team, led by John Morris, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Shaler Alias, Co-Founder and President, and Tim Murphy, Chief Financial Officer, will continue to lead the Company. REPAY’s existing majority equity holder, Corsair Capital, a leading private equity investor in the financial services industry, is expected to remain the Company’s largest stockholder.

The transaction reflects an implied enterprise value at closing of $653 million, based on current assumptions. The cash component of the purchase price to be paid to the equity holders of REPAY is expected to be funded by Thunder Bridge’s cash in trust and debt financing. Existing REPAY equity holders have the potential to receive an earnout of additional equity interests of the surviving subsidiary if certain stock price targets are met as set forth in the definitive merger agreement.  Corsair Capital and the REPAY management team will remain investors by rolling over significant equity into the combined company.

TBRG transaction summary updated



  • Morgan Stanley, Cantor Fitzgerald, and CLSA acted as capital markets advisors to Thunder Bridge.
  • Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP acted as legal counsel to Thunder Bridge.
  • Financial Technology Partners served as strategic and financial advisor to REPAY.
  • Credit Suisse acted as capital markets advisor to REPAY.
  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Troutman Sanders acted as legal counsel to REPAY.



Executive Officers

Gary A. Simanson, 57
President, CEO and Director

Mr. Simanson is founder of Thunder Bridge Capital, LLC and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since 2017. In addition to serving in that capacity, Mr. Simanson serves as head of its Investment Committee, Credit Committee, Enterprise Risk Committee, Loan Review and other executive committees and is responsible for sourcing and establishing strategic loan asset purchase relationships and equity opportunities within the financial services and FinTech industries. From 2015 through June 2017, Mr. Simanson founded and managed Endeavor Capital Management, L.L.C., Endeavor Capital Advisors, L.L.C., Endeavor Capital Fund, LP, and Endeavor Equity Fund, LP (collectively, “Endeavor”), targeting debt and equity investments in the marketplace lending industry. Prior to founding Endeavor, Mr. Simanson served as an advisor and then as a Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Avenue National Bank from 2013 to 2015, restructuring its balance sheet, lending practices, underwriting procedures, special credits, ALCO, corporate governance, enterprise risk, IT, retail delivery, and achieving strong regulatory results. He has been Managing Director of First Capital Group, L.L.C., an investment banking advisory firm specializing in the financial industry and bank mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, capital raising and enterprise risk management from 1997 to the present. In such capacity, Mr. Simanson has both initiated and advised on bank mergers and acquisitions, capital raising transactions, enterprise risks and strategic initiatives around the ountry and has spoken nationally and internationally on enterprise risk, bank mergers and acquisitions, and also on the emerging marketplace lending and global FinTech industry, including the uses of blockchain for international asset selection and verification and income stream allocation and treasury management. Mr. Simanson previously served as the financial expert for the Audit Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors of First Guaranty Bancshares, Inc., with $1.4 billion in assets, and its wholly-owned subsidiary First Guaranty Bank; and as a Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Alpine Capital Bank and its related companies, operating in the commercial banking, investment advisory, merchant banking and portfolio investment areas. He was Founder, Vice Chairman and Chief Strategic Officer of Community Bankers Trust Corporation, a $1.2 billion in assets bank holding company for Essex Bank (NASDAQ NMS “ESXB”) and previously served as its President, Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer, and as a Director since its inception in 2005 to 2011, overseeing its public offering in 2006 as a special purpose acquisition company, Community Bankers Acquisition Corp, its bank acquisitions and shareholder reformulation in 2008, and its failed bank acquisitions from the FDIC in 2008 and 2009. In addition to serving as managing director of First Capital Group, Mr. Simanson also served as Senior Vice President concentrating in bank mergers and acquisitions and capital markets with FTN Financial Capital Markets, a wholly owned investment banking and financial services subsidiary of First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE: FHS) from 1998 to 1999. From 1992 to 1995, Mr. Simanson was Associate General Counsel at Union Planters Corporation, then a NYSE-traded bank holding company (presently Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF)), where his duties included the negotiation and preparation of all bank merger and acquisition transaction documents, transaction due diligence, member of integration committee, preparation of all regulatory filings, registration statements and other securities filings and other bank regulatory matters. From 1989 to 1992, he was a practicing attorney, beginning his career with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, specializing in the securities, bank regulatory and bank merger and acquisition areas. Mr. Simanson is licensed to practice law in the states of New York and Colorado. Mr. Simanson received his B.A. degree, majoring in Economics, from George Washington University. He earned his M.B.A., majoring in Finance, from George Washington University and holds a J.D. from Vanderbilt University.

William A. Houlihan, 62
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Houlihan has served since 2012 as a director and audit committee chairman for Max Exchange, LLC, a privately-owned residential mortgage loan trading business. He has served since 2009 as a director and financial expert on the audit committee of First Physicians Capital Group, or FPCG, a privately-owned health care investment company, which was registered with the SEC prior to completion of a going-private transaction in 2015, from 2013 to 2014 as non-executive chairman of its board of directors and since 2013 as the chairman of its audit committee. Since 2013 he has served as a director and Audit Committee Chairman of Five Oaks Investment Company (NYSE: OAKS), a mortgage REIT. He served from 2013 to 2015 as lead independent director and chairman of the audit committee of Tiptree Financial Partners, LP (PINX:TIPTL), or Tiptree, a financial services holding company; and from 2010 to 2013 as lead independent director and chairman of the audit committee for Care Investment Trust (OTCQX: CVTR), a healthcare REIT which merged with Tiptree in 2013. From 2003 to 2010, he was a director of SNL Financial, a privately owned financial information company, and in addition, from 1998 to 2012 he was a director and shareholder of a family-owned commercial real estate investment partnership. He served from 2013 to 2014 as the chief financial officer for Amalgamated Bank, a privately owned bank. From 2001 through 2008, Mr. Houlihan was a private investor while he served as transitional Chief Financial Officer for several distressed financial services companies: Sixth Gear, Inc. from 2007 to 2008; Sedgwick Claims Management Services from 2006 until 2007; Metris Companies from 2004 to 2006; and Hudson United Bancorp from 2001 to 2003. From 1981 until 2000, and for short-term periods in 2004 and 2007, Mr. Houlihan worked for a number of investment banking companies, including UBS (NYSE:UBS), J.P. Morgan (NYSE:JPM), Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Bear Steams and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). He also held several auditing and accounting positions from 1977 through 1981. In addition he was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant, but his license is currently inactive. Since 2017 has been an adjunct professor for the Feliciano School of Business at Montclair State University. On March 13, 2015, Mr. Houlihan settled an administrative proceeding brought by the SEC regarding his alleged failure to file on a timely basis required Schedule 13D amendments and Section 16(a) reports relating to his beneficial ownership of securities of FPCG. Mr. Houlihan is a member of the board of directors of FPCG and a greater than 10% beneficial owner of FPCG securities. In the settlement, Mr. Houlihan did not admit or deny the SEC’s allegations, consented to the entry of a cease and desist order requiring him not to cause any violation of Sections 13(d)(2) and 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, and agreed to pay a civil penalty of  $15,000 to the SEC. Mr. Houlihan received a B.S., magna cum laude, in Accounting from Manhattan College and received his M.B.A. in Finance from New York University Graduate School of Business.

John Wu, 47
Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Wu is a seasoned alternative investment executive with over twenty years of experience investing in technology, media, telecom, and FinTech companies. He has a track record in long/short equity investing in developed and emerging markets. In addition, he has experience investing in macro assets as well as structuring derivative products and developing risk management tools. Since January 2018, Mr. Wu has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Digital Securities Group of SharesPost, overseeing its expansion into digital assets and cryptocurrencies. SharesPost gives private growth companies and their shareholders a platform providing capital markets liquidity. Mr. Wu also serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Portfolio Manager of SEGO, LLC, a family office investment firm, since 2014. Previously, Mr. Wu was Managing Partner and Founder of Sureview Capital, a global multisector long-short equity hedge fund, from 2010 to 2014. While at Sureview Capital, he secured a strategic investment from The Blackstone Group and raised approximately $400M in AUM from global institutions. Immediately prior to forming Sureview, Mr. Wu was at Kingdon Capital, a multi-billion dollar long-short hedge fund from 2004 to 2010. At Kingdon, he was a Portfolio Manager, responsible for investing in a cross-section of industries within technology, media, telecom, consumer discretionary, business services, and FinTech. Mr. Wu was the Portfolio Manager of Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers LLC, an asset management firm, from 2015 to 2017. Mr. Wu started his hedge fund career in 1992 at Tiger Management where he spent four years as a macro analyst and trader. He received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Economics from Cornell University.

Mary Anne Gillespie, 65
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

Ms. Gillespie has been the Executive Vice President of Sales/Product Marketing at EIS Group, a provider of digital-ready, customer-centered core insurance systems, since 2015. She has 35 years of multichannel customer engagement experience. She has executed sales strategies and market growth in national and global territories for companies ranging from start-up to $9 billion in revenue across a broad range of industries. Ms. Gillespie previously served as Executive Vice President at TAS Group, a provider of software solutions for electronic money, payment systems, capital markets and ERP, from 2011 to 2012 and Vice President of Merchant Sales at PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) from 2007 to 2009. Prior to those positions, she was Vice President of Sales at Guidewire Software, a software publisher, from 2005 to 2007. Earlier, she worked in several roles at Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) leading to Senior Vice President of Sales. Ms. Gillespie received an M.B.A. degree from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. degree from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Angela Mariana Freyre, 63
General Counsel and Secretary

Since January 2018, Ms. Freyre has been a Principal with the law firm of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, in their Financial Services practice Ms. Freyre has served in the federal government from 2011 to 2017 and was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Export-Import Bank of the United States from 2011 to 2017, and in the Executive Office of the President of the United States as Special Advisor for Cuba Policy in the National Security Council from November 2016 to January 2017. Ms. Freyre has more than 35 years of legal experience. She served as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Legal and Strategic Affairs at The Nielsen Company, a global information, data, and measurement company, from 2005 to 2011. Prior to that she was at the law firm Coudert Brothers LLP from 1995 to 2005, as an Associate and later a Partner. She began her legal career as an Associate at the law firm Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon LLP from 1981 to 1995, where she worked in both their New York and Paris offices. Ms. Freyre received her B.A. in History and Political Science from Wellesley College, her D.E.J.G. from Universite de Droit d’Economie et des Sciences Sociales de Paris and her J.D. and LL.M from Georgetown University Law Center.

Board of Directors

Peter J. Kight, 61
Executive Chairman

Mr. Kight has 34 years of industry experience. He has been an Angel Investor and Advisor to Commerce Ventures, a Silicon Valley based venture capital firm focused on investing in innovations in the retail and financial services industries, since 2012. Mr. Kight previously served as a Co-Chairman and Managing Partner at Comvest Partners, a mid-market private investment firm, from 2010 – 2013, and then as a Senior Advisor at Comvest Partners from 2013 to 2015. He was the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of CheckFree Corporation (NASDAQ: CKFR), a provider of financial services technology, from 1981 until it was acquired by Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV) in 2007. Mr. Kight then served as director and vice chairman of Fiserv following Fiserv’s acquisition of CheckFree from 2007 to 2012 (Vice chairman from 2007 to 2010). Mr. Kight joined the Board of Directors of Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), a supplier of software and services specifically designed for nonprofit organizations, in 2014. Mr. Kight has served on the board of directors of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ: HBAN), a regional bank holding company, since 2012. Mr. Kight previously served on the boards of directors of Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ GS: AKAM), distributor of computing solutions and services, from 2004 to 2012, Manhattan Associates, Inc., (NASDAQ: MANH) a provider of supply chain planning and execution solutions, from 2007 to 2011 and Kabbage, Inc., a technology-driven SME lending company, from 2015 to November 2017. Mr. Kight is also a member of the Board of Directors Urjanet, Inc., a data analytics company focused primarily on energy, utility, and financial transaction data, from 2016 to present and Insightpool, LLC, a marketing data analytics business focused on earned influence marketing analytics, from 2015 to present. He has been a Principal of Thunder Bridge Capital, LLC, since 2017. He holds more than a dozen patents and publications for electronic banking and payment systems.

Robert Hartheimer, 60

Robert Hartheimer has been an Independent Director of CardWorks, a privately held consumer lender and credit card servicer since 2017 and an Independent Director of Lending Club Asset Management, an investment management subsidiary of fin-tech market lending firm Lending Club (NYSE: LC) since 2016. Mr. Hartheimer is Co-Founder and Chief Regulatory Officer of CreditStacks, a fin-tech credit card originator since 2015 and the Founder and Managing Member of Hartheimer LLC, which provides senior-level consulting services to banks, investment firms and financial services companies on financial, regulatory, strategic and governance matters, since 2008. From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Hartheimer was a Managing Director at Promontory Financial Group, a regulatory consulting firm. In 1991, Mr. Hartheimer joined the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, where he and a small team created the Division of Resolutions to analyze and sell failed banks. He went on to serve as the Director of that division. Mr. Hartheimer’s other past positions include senior roles at investment banks, including Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney and Friedman Billings Ramsey. Mr. Hartheimer previously served on four Boards of directors: Higher One Holdings (NYSE: ONE) a financial technology company focused on providing cost-saving solutions to colleges and universities from 2012 to 2016, Sterling Financial Corporation and Sterling Bank (NASDAQ: STSA) a recapitalized regional bank in the State of Washington from 2010 to 2014, the three E*Trade Banks (E*Trade Bank, E*Trade Savings Bank and United Medical Bank subsidiaries of online broker E*Trade), where he served as Chairman of the Audit Committee for such bank subsidiaries for part of this tenure (NASDAQ: ETFC) from 2005 to 2008, and Merrick Bank, a Utah based credit card bank, from 1997 to 2003, where he served as Chairman of its Audit Committee. Mr. Hartheimer received his B.A. from Hamilton College and his M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Stewart J. Paperin, 69

Mr. Paperin currently serves as the managing member of Leopard Rock Property Group, a real property development and investment firm located in Los Angeles and San Diego, California. Mr. Paperin served as Executive Vice President of the Soros Foundation, a worldwide private philanthropic foundation, from 1996 to 2013, where he oversaw financial, administrative and economic development activities. From 1996 to 2005, Mr. Paperin served as a Senior Advisor and portfolio manager for Soros Fund Management LLC, a financial services company, and from 2005 to 2014, he served as a consultant to Soros Fund Management LLC. From 1996 to 2007, Mr. Paperin served as a Director of Penn Octane Corporation (NASDAQ: POCC), a company engaged in the purchase, transportation and sale of liquefied petroleum gas. Prior to joining the Soros organizations, Mr. Paperin served as President of Brooke Group International, an investment firm concentrated on the former Soviet Union, from 1990 to 1993, and as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Western Union Corporation, a provider of money transfer and message services, which was controlled by Brooke Group, from 1988 to 1990. Prior to Western Union Corporation, Mr. Paperin served as Chief Financial Officer of Timeplex Corporation, a telecommunications equipment provider, from 1986 to 1988 and of Datapoint Corporation, a computer equipment manufacturer, from 1985 to 1986. Prior to Datapoint Corporation, Mr. Paperin served as a financial officer of Pepsico Corporation (NYSE: PEP) from 1980 to 1985 and as a management consultant at Cresap McCormick & Paget from 1975 to 1980. Mr. Paperin has been a director of ARMOUR REIT since 2009. Mr. Paperin served as a member of Enterprise’s Board of Directors, ARMOUR’s predecessor from its inception in 2007 to its merger with ARMOUR in 2009. Mr. Paperin was also a director of JAVELIN from 2012 until the merger in 2016. Mr. Paperin also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Community Bankers Acquisition Corp., a blank check company formed to acquire an operating business in the banking industry (NYSE MKT LLC: BTC). Mr. Paperin holds an M.S. in Management, and a B.A. in Economics Management from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the State University of New York.

Allerd D. Stikker, 55

Mr. Stikker started his career as a banking consultant in the United States. After moving back to Europe, he became active within the oil and gas sector and was subsequently employed in the financial services sector as Chief Financial Officer for IMC B.V. After a sabbatical period, he joined the BXR Group, an international private investment group, in 2008 as Chief Financial Officer with responsibility for its real estate division and served as Chief Operating Officer of BXR Group from 2011 until 2014. He has been the Chief Executive Officer of BXR Group since 2014. During his tenure at BXR, Mr Stikker served on numerous boards and in many occasions as chairman, such as Green Gas International, a methane processor, Advanced World Transport, a railway transporter in Eastern Europe, Tower Group A/S, a real estate investor in the German residential market and BXR Group BV, the entity within BXR that makes all major decisions. Mr. Stikker has an M.B.A. and a B.A. in Business Administration from George Washington University.

Ming Shu, PhD., 46

Dr. Ming Shu is currently a partner at Lingfeng Capital Management, a private equity firm focused on financial technology, consumer finance, big data, payments, and other technology companies, since 2016. Previously he was Chief Executive Officer of Financial Services and Group Vice President/Head of Strategic M&A at SF Express Co. Ltd., (SHE:002352) a Chinese delivery services company, from 2015 to 2016 where he drove an omni-channel strategy strengthening the financial service platform for individual and SME customers and led the company’s strategic investment and M&A activities. From 2013 to 2015 Dr. Ming Shu was Group Vice President at Alibaba Group/ANT Financial (NYSE: BABA) in Hangzhou. He served as Chief Operating Officer of Henderson Global Investors (formerly LSE:HGG, ASX:HGG) an investment manager, from 2010 to 2013 and as Head of Greater China for Henderson Equity Partners from 2006 to 2013. He started his career as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in Chicago and New York. He holds a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Macalester College. Dr. Ming Shu is also a CFA Charter holder since 2006.