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SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies): A Channel For Acquisitions

Garry Stephensen

Article Author: Garry Stephensen
Position: Managing Director
Read time: 4 mins

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Exciting. Game-changing. Thrilling. These are typically not words used in conjunction with an entity's financial structure.  But in the realm of corporate business brokerage SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) have taken the financial world by storm as both an exciting and thrilling way to change the game.. Buckle up as we embark on an adventure to discover what SPACs are, why they are making waves, and how they are revolutionizing the way businesses go public.

SPAC Attack!

SPACs might sound like a fancy acronym for a new sport or an exotic tropical fruit, but they are, in fact, financial vehicles that have gained tremendous popularity in recent years. SPACs are companies specifically created to raise funds through an initial public offering (IPO) with the sole purpose of acquiring an existing private company. Think of them as the middlemen who facilitate the process of bringing privately held businesses into the public spotlight.

SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies): A Channel for Acquisitions

Why Are SPACs Making Waves?

During the 2019 Calendar Year SPAC IPOs in the US raised $13.6 billion. This was a big increase since 2016 when only $3.5 billion was raised for SPACs by US companies. Interest in SPACs increased since then.  $83.4 billion was raised in 2021 and $162.5 billion in 2022. As of March 2024, SPACs have raised $9.6 billion.  

SPACs have become the talk of the town for several reasons. Firstly, they offer an alternative route to traditional IPOs, providing an easier path for companies to go public. Unlike a conventional IPO, where a company needs to undergo a long and arduous process of regulatory filings, roadshows, and extensive due diligence, SPACs offer a shortcut. Once a SPAC goes public, it has a ticking clock, usually two years, to find a suitable private company to merge with. This streamlined process saves time and reduces the bureaucratic hurdles associated with traditional IPOs.

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Secondly, SPACs have captured the imagination of investors due to their unique structure. When a SPAC goes public, it raises capital from investors. The investors purchase shares in the SPAC, typically at $10 per share. The funds raised are then held in a trust until the SPAC identifies a target company for acquisition. This trust provides a safety net for investors, ensuring their money is protected even if no acquisition takes place within the specified timeframe.

Magic of the Merger

Once a SPAC identifies a suitable target company, the real magic happens - a merger is born! This process, known as a de-SPAC transaction, results in the private company becoming publicly traded without going through the traditional IPO process. The shareholders of the private company become shareholders of the combined entity, and voila, a new publicly traded company is born!

SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies): A Channel for Acquisitions

Pros and Cons

As with any financial innovation, SPACs have their pros and cons. On the positive side, SPACs provide a unique opportunity for companies to access the public markets quickly and efficiently. They also offer retail investors the chance to participate in early-stage investments that were previously only the domain of venture capitalists, private equity firms and those who weren't faint of heart.

However it is important to tread carefully in this new bold arena. Critics argue that SPACs may have a higher level of risk compared to traditional IPOs. Due to the shortened timelines involved, the due diligence process on target companies may not be as thorough as it would be in a traditional IPO. Additionally, there is a concern that the abundance of SPACs in the market could result in an oversupply of companies going public, leading to a potential bubble.

SPAC To The Future

What are the future of SPACs?  SPACs are still a relatively new phenomenon, but they have already made a significant impact. Despite some criticism and regulatory scrutiny, it is clear that SPACs are here to stay. In fact, some major players in the business world, including renowned investors and celebrities, have jumped on the SPAC bandwagon, further fuelling its popularity.

As the SPAC market matures, we can expect to see improvements in transparency, governance, and regulatory oversight. It is crucial to strike the right balance between innovation and investor protection. With proper safeguards in place, SPACs have the potential to become a valuable avenue for corporate business brokerages, fostering entrepreneurship and creating new opportunities for companies and investors alike.

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And there you have it. A succinct tour through the fascinating world of SPACs. They provide a unique avenue for companies seeking to go public and investors looking for the "next big thing". With their unique structure and streamlined approach, SPACs have carved out a new avenue for corporate business brokerages, revolutionizing the way companies join the ranks of the publicly traded. So, keep your eyes peeled and your wallets ready because SPACs are ready to take you on a wild ride into the future of finance.

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