(Reuters) – ATI Physical Therapy, backed by private equity firm Advent International, agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Fortress Value Acquisition Corp II in a deal valuing the combined company at $2.5 billion, including debt.

The deal, announced on Monday, is expected to provide ATI Physical Therapy up to $645 million in cash proceeds, including $300 million in private investment by investors including Wells Capital Management, Weiss Asset Management and Monashee Investment Management.

ATI owns and operates nearly 900 physical therapy clinics with more than 5,000 physical therapists nationwide.

Special purpose acquisition vehicles (SPAC) like Fortress are shell companies, which raise funds through an initial public offering (IPO) to acquire a private company and take it public.

Fortress raised $300 million through its IPO in August.

Deutsche Bank Securities and BofA Securities are serving as joint financial advisors to Fortress, while Barclays and Citi are acting as joint financial advisors and capital markets advisors to ATI, the companies said.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter and the combined company will operate as “ATI Physical Therapy Inc”. It will remain NYSE-listed under a new ticker symbol, the companies said.

Advent will remain the combined company’s largest stockholder.

[Source: Reuters]